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Home / News / World /  Who is Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan's new caretaker President?

Who is Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan's new caretaker President?

The anti-Taliban leader, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, had declared on Sunday that under no circumstances he would bow down to the militant group.

  • Citing the Constitution of Afghanistan, Saleh said, in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President, the First Vice President becomes the caretaker President 
  • I am currently inside my country and I am the legitimate care taker President

Afghanistan's First Vice President Amrullah Saleh declared himself as the country's ‘legitimate caretaker President' after President Ashraf Ghani fled the war-torn country. Citing the Constitution of Afghanistan, Saleh said, "in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President, the First Vice President becomes the caretaker President."

Afghanistan's First Vice President Amrullah Saleh declared himself as the country's ‘legitimate caretaker President' after President Ashraf Ghani fled the war-torn country. Citing the Constitution of Afghanistan, Saleh said, "in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President, the First Vice President becomes the caretaker President."

I am currently inside my country and I am the legitimate care taker President. I am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support and consensus, Saleh tweeted.

I am currently inside my country and I am the legitimate care taker President. I am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support and consensus, Saleh tweeted.

The anti-Taliban leader, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, had declared earlier that under no circumstances he would bow down to the militant group. 

The anti-Taliban leader, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, had declared earlier that under no circumstances he would bow down to the militant group. 

Who is Amrullah Saleh?

Who is Amrullah Saleh?

Orphaned at a young age, Saleh first fought alongside guerilla commander anti-Taliban fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud in the 1990s. He went on to serve in his government before being chased out of Kabul when the Taliban captured it in 1996.

Orphaned at a young age, Saleh first fought alongside guerilla commander anti-Taliban fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud in the 1990s. He went on to serve in his government before being chased out of Kabul when the Taliban captured it in 1996.

The hardliners then tortured his sister in their bid to hunt him down, Saleh has said, as reported by AFP. "My view of the Taliban changed forever because of what happened in 1996," Saleh wrote in a Time magazine editorial last year.

The hardliners then tortured his sister in their bid to hunt him down, Saleh has said, as reported by AFP. "My view of the Taliban changed forever because of what happened in 1996," Saleh wrote in a Time magazine editorial last year.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Saleh, then a part of the anti-Taliban resistance, became a key asset for the CIA. The relationship paved the way for him to lead the newly formed Afghanistan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate (NDS), in 2004.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Saleh, then a part of the anti-Taliban resistance, became a key asset for the CIA. The relationship paved the way for him to lead the newly formed Afghanistan intelligence agency, the National Security Directorate (NDS), in 2004.

As NDS chief, Saleh is believed to have amassed a vast network of informants and spies inside the insurgency and across the border in Pakistan, where Pashto-speaking agents kept track on Taliban leaders.

As NDS chief, Saleh is believed to have amassed a vast network of informants and spies inside the insurgency and across the border in Pakistan, where Pashto-speaking agents kept track on Taliban leaders.

In 2010, he was sacked as Afghanistan's spy chief following a humiliating attack on a Kabul peace conference. However, Saleh maintained his fight against the Taliban and Islamabad on Twitter, where he fired off daily tweets taking aim at his longtime foes.

In 2010, he was sacked as Afghanistan's spy chief following a humiliating attack on a Kabul peace conference. However, Saleh maintained his fight against the Taliban and Islamabad on Twitter, where he fired off daily tweets taking aim at his longtime foes.

A return to favour came in 2018 when he briefly oversaw the interior ministry after sealing an alliance with president Ashraf Ghani, who has now fled to an unknown location. Saleh went on to become the former leader's vice premier.

A return to favour came in 2018 when he briefly oversaw the interior ministry after sealing an alliance with president Ashraf Ghani, who has now fled to an unknown location. Saleh went on to become the former leader's vice premier.

His most recent political revival came as the United States was preparing to exit Afghanistan and coincided with a series of assassination attempts on Saleh by the Taliban.

His most recent political revival came as the United States was preparing to exit Afghanistan and coincided with a series of assassination attempts on Saleh by the Taliban.

It is futile to argue with Joe Biden

It is futile to argue with Joe Biden

Saleh, who is currently hiding, yesterday stated that arguing with US President Joe Biden is futile and further called on Afghans to join the resistance against Taliban.

Saleh, who is currently hiding, yesterday stated that arguing with US President Joe Biden is futile and further called on Afghans to join the resistance against Taliban.

On Sunday, the leader also noted that that under no circumstances, he would bow down to the Talib terrorists. He further asserted that he would never betray his mentor Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by two al Qaeda operatives just before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

On Sunday, the leader also noted that that under no circumstances, he would bow down to the Talib terrorists. He further asserted that he would never betray his mentor Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by two al Qaeda operatives just before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

His latest close call came last September when a massive bomb targeting his convoy killed at least 10 people in Kabul.

His latest close call came last September when a massive bomb targeting his convoy killed at least 10 people in Kabul.

(With inputs from agencies)

(With inputs from agencies)