Former Leaders Announce Afghanistan Govt in Exile, to be Led by Amrullah Saleh

The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ousted by the Taliban will continue in exile with former vice-president Amrullah Saleh at the helm.

According to a statement released by the Afghan embassy in Switzerland, the judicial, executive and legislative wings of the government in exile will be “activated” soon. “After the escape of Ashraf Ghani and his rupture with Afghan politics, his first vice-president (Amrullah Saleh) will be leading the country,” the statement read.

The statement added that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the only legitimate government of Afghanistan elected by the votes of people, and that no other government can replace the legitimate one.

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It also declared support to the Panjshir resistance, the anti-Taliban front led by Ahmad Masoud, adding that the embassies and consulates of the republic will continue to function as before the Taliban takeover.

The statement has been attributed to the leaders of the ousted government and other political leaders, but the names have not been made public.

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The Taliban swept across Afghanistan last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital city of Kabul fell to the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul.

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