The practically non-existent Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has announced the formation of a new government in exile led by Amrullah Saleh who was the first vice-president in the Ashraf Ghani administration. Saleh had, before escaping, proclaimed himself as the caretaker president of Afghanistan in Ghani’s absence.
The government in exile led by Saleh is the only “legitimate government” in Afghanistan, read a statement issued by the Afghan embassy in Switzerland.
Referring to the Taliban, the statement says that no other government can replace the “legitimate” one. It says further that the decision to announce a government in exile was made after due consultation with elders since Afghanistan is under the occupation of “external forces”.
“After the escape of Ashraf Ghani and his rupture with Afghan politics, his first vice-president (Saleh) will be leading the country,” the statement read. It added that the government in exile will activate executive, judicial and legislative powers.
However, the statement does not identify any other members of the government in exile apart from Saleh. It does declare, however, its support to the anti-Taliban resistance mounted by Ahmad Massoud in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province.
The Taliban captured Kabul on 15 August after an aggressive and rapid advance against government forces amid the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.
After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, Saleh and a number of Afghan defence forces personnel had fled to the Panjshir valley and continued to defy the Taliban. The terrorists of the Taliban later claimed to have defeated the resistance forces led by Ahmad Massoud.
The statement issued by political leaders from the Saleh administration said that all embassies and consulates of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan would continue day-to-day operations.
A month after announcing an interim cabinet led by Mullah Akhund, the Taliban recently announced that Afghanistan would temporarily adopt the constitution ratified during Muhammad Zahir Shah’s time 57 years ago.