'Destroyed photos of my wife, daughters': Amrullah Saleh recounts how he left Kabul

In an article for Daily Mail, Amrullah Saleh has written why he did not escape from Afghanistan, how he fled to Panjshir and what lies ahead for the Resistance Front. 
Instead of fleeing Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh contacted Massoud who was in Kabul when the city fell to the Taliban.(AFP)
Instead of fleeing Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh contacted Massoud who was in Kabul when the city fell to the Taliban.(AFP)
Published on Sep 04, 2021 08:16 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Former Afghanistan vice president Amrullah Saleh who is now leading the Resistance movement in Panjshir has written a detailed account of what happened in the days leading to the fall of Kabul on August 15 for Daily Mail. The fall of Afghanistan is not only shameful for US President Joe Biden, but also the whole of Western civilisation because everybody knows that Pakistan is running the show, Amrullah Saleh wrote. As he has earlier said, he reiterated that he will not surrender to the Taliban and his security guard has been sworn to shoot him twice in the head in case he gets injured, as he will never surrender to the Taliban, he wrote.

The account comes at a time when the Taliban have claimed that they have captured Panjshir province, the only Taliban-free province of the country. Panjshir residents are fleeing their homes and choosing other Taliban-ruled provinces to avoid death in the massive clash that is still going on in the valley.

 

‘Pakistan is running the show’

Reiterating his theory of strong Pakistan support to the Taliban rise, a factor which former president Ashraf Ghani reportedly mentioned during his last phone call, Saleh wrote the Talian were receiving instruction from the Pakistan embassy. "The Taliban's spokesperson receives directions, literally every hour, from the Pakistani embassy...The betrayal of Afghanistan by the West is colossal...Your politicians know that Pakistan is running the show. They know al Qaeda is back in the streets of Kabul. And they know the Taliban have not reformed. They have been displaying their suicide vests in Kabul," Saleh wrote.

Night before Kabul fell

The night before Kabul fell, there was a revolt inside the prison and Taliban inmates were attempting to escape, the then vice president was informed. He tried to contact the non-Taliban prisoners and faced counter-revolt. The next day, Amrullah Saleh woke up at 8am to numerous calls from family, friends. He said he tried to contact the minister of defence and the interior minister and their deputies. But they were not reachable. The police chief of Kabul informed him that he could hold the front for an hour. " But in that one desperate hour, I was unable to find deployable Afghan troops anywhere in the city," Saleh wrote.

"I messaged our National Security Adviser to say we have to do something. I got no response from anyone. And by 9am that morning of August 15, Kabul was panicking," Saleh wrote.

As the Taliban firmed their hold on Kabul, Saleh messaged Ahmad Massoud who was also in Kabul. "I then went through my home and destroyed pictures of my wife and my daughters. I collected my computer and some belongings," Saleh wrote adding that he made his chief guard Rahim swear by Koran that he will have to shoot Amrullah Saleh if he gets injured. "I don't want to surrender to the Taliban. Ever," he wrote.

Why Amrullah Saleh did not flee Afghanistan

As Saleh recounted, he was offered an escape even before the fall of Kabul. But he refused to be one of those politicians who 'betray people' and then drop a Twitter or Facebook post from posh hotels abroad, he wrote. "They stay in these hotels and villas abroad. And then they call on the poorest Afghans to revolt. That's craven. If we want a revolt, the revolt has to be led," he wrote.

 

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Saturday, October 16, 2021