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Amrullah Saleh in Tajikistan? Afghanistan’s Ex-VP May Have Made ‘Tactical Retreat’ as Taliban Closed In

By: Manoj Gupta

CNN-News18

Last Updated: September 23, 2021, 10:04 IST

File photo of Amrullah Saleh (New York Times)

File photo of Amrullah Saleh (New York Times)

The whereabouts of Saleh, the last man standing against Taliban, were unknown after Taliban bombed the house where he was staying.

Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan’s former vice president and leader of the Resistance Force who was holding out the Taliban in the Panjshir province, has reportedly reached Tajikistan with his team.

Sources told CNN-News18 that Saleh was given a safe passage by the Tajikistan government after Taliban encircled the entire Panjshir area. Sources close to Saleh say they have no confirmation but it was possibly a “tactical retreat”.

The whereabouts of Saleh, the last man standing against Taliban, were unknown after Taliban bombed the house where he was staying. It was then reported that he was safe and had taken refuge though no details emerged of his location.

ALSO READ | ‘Shoot Me Twice in the Head’: What Amrullah Saleh Told His Guard Amid Fears of Taliban Takeover

Recently, images of American dollars and gold bricks recovered from the residence of Saleh were shared by Taliban fighters. Ahmadullah Muttaqi, chief of the Taliban’s multimedia branch, took to Twitter to post a video of an alleged raid on Saleh’s residence.

The video shows Taliban fighters sitting around two suitcases stuffed with cash and gold bricks. Muttaqi claimed that a total of six and a half million US dollars, along with 18 gold bricks, were recovered.

Earlier, the Taliban tortured and executed Amrullah Saleh’s brother Rohullah Saleh during clashes in Panjshir valley.

A former head of the National Directorate of Security, Amrullah Saleh, had fled to the Panjshir valley at the time of the Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15. He then teamed up with Ahmad Massoud of the National Resistance Front (NRF) to challenge the Taliban regime in Kabul.

ALSO READ | Afghanistan Too Big for Pakistan to Swallow, Taliban to Govern: ‘Caretaker’ President Saleh

Saleh had earlier said that the Taliban is “far from stability and sustainability” despite “dominance over the soil” and questioned its claim of support among people of the country.

“If the nation trusts you a bit, then why are people lining up on the borders of the country. Dominating structure in the past didn’t mean stability and your modern dominance over the soil doesn’t mean your stability. Stability and sustainability is a consistent system with components that your group is far from,” Saleh said, in his scathing comments on the Taliban insurgent forces.

The former Vice President of Afghanistan added that that the collapse of the economy and absence of service machines will soon “destroy people”. Addressing the Taliban, he said, “Your weapons and harsh method will not be effective against the uprising and anger of people. Only time is between, not if and unless.”

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first published:September 23, 2021, 10:04 IST
last updated:September 23, 2021, 10:04 IST