Afghanistan’s caretaker President Amrullah Saleh has confirmed that he is still in Panjshir valley after reports emerged that he has fled to Tajikistan with Panjshir commanders amidst the Taliban’s onslaught against the Panjshir resistance forces.
In a video message, Saleh rejected claims by certain sections of the media that he has already fled to Tajikistan. He said that he was still in Panjshir valley discussing their future actions against the Taliban. The Afghan caretaker President also said that it is true that the situation is difficult as the battle between the Taliban and Afghan Resistance Forces has intensified lately.
“There are some media reports being circulated around that I have fled my country. This is absolutely baseless. This is my voice, I am calling you from the Panjshir valley, from my base. I am with our commanders and our political leaders,” said Saleh.
Saleh added, “We are managing the situation. Of course, it’s a difficult situation, We are under the invasion of the Taliban and Pakistanis and Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. We have held the ground, we have not lost territory.”
The confirmation had come after the Taliban had claimed that they had captured Panjshir valley held by resistance forces. The Taliban had shared a video online saying their forces had advanced in the Shutul district. Amidst this, there were rumours that both Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud – the leaders of the Afghan Resistance Forces have fled to Tajikistan.
In response, Saleh had tweeted, “The Resistance is continuing and will continue. I am here with my soil, for my soil and defending its dignity,” Saleh said in a tweet, defying claims made by Taliban that he had fled the country.
“Resistance is the nom de guerre of everyone here. RESISTANCE,” he tweeted.
Resistance is the nom de guerre of everyone here. RESISTANCE.— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) September 3, 2021
اینجا اسم مستعار همه ی ما مقاومت است. مقاومت .
Earlier, Afghanistan’s caretaker President Amrullah Saleh had lashed out at the Taliban for blocking humanitarian access to Panjshir.
Taliban using old men as mine clearance tools, blocking humanitarian assistance
Taking to Twitter, Saleh had accused the Taliban of committing war crimes and having no regard for International Humanitarian Law.
Saleh had revealed that the Taliban is doing racial profiling and forcing the ‘military age men’ of Panjshir to be their “mine clearance tools”. They are forcing them to walk on minefields, besides cutting off phone lines, electricity and access to medicines. He called on the United Nations and other world leaders to take note of the “criminal and terrorist behaviour of Talibs.”
Over the past 23 years since start of the Emergency Hospital we never blocked Talib access to it. Talibs are committing war crimes & have zero respect for IHL. We call on UN & world leaders to take notice of this clear criminal & terrorist behavior of the Talibs.— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) September 3, 2021
The Panjshir Valley is one of the last remaining territories controlled by anti-Taliban resistance forces in Afghanistan. Amrullah Saleh, accompanied by Ahmad Massoud, the son of former Afghanistan Defence Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud, has been defending against the Taliban onslaught and had urged people to unite to oust the Taliban from Afghanistan.