Former Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, on Tuesday, Aug. 19, declared himself the “legitimate interim president,” and reported that he is rallying military leaders to fight the Taliban takeover. 

While on Sunday, Aug. 15, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country after the Taliban seized control of Kabul, his vice president, Amrullah Saleh, tweeted that he was in the nation and that in line with Afghanistan’s constitution, he was now the new acting president, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Clarity: As per d constitution of Afg, in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President the FVP becomes the caretaker President. I am currently inside my country & am the legitimate care taker President. Am reaching out to all leaders to secure their support & consensus,” Saleh wrote in the tweet. 

The 48-year-old former vice president vowed that he would not bow to the Taliban “terrorists” who seized Kabul in an earlier tweet. 

“I will never, ever &  under no circumstances bow to d Talib terrorists. I will never betray d soul & legacy of my hero Ahmad Shah Masoud, the commander, the legend & the guide,” Saleh wrote. “I won’t dis-appoint millions who listened to me. I will never be under one ceiling with Taliban. NEVER.”

According to reports, Ahmad Shah Massoud was a slain anti-Taliban commander whose son, Ahmad Massoud, has recently been spotted with Saleh in the Panjshir Valley, northeast of Kabul, and who promised to take his side.

Meanwhile, deposed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said shortly after fleeing the country for Tajikistan with his closest aides that the Taliban are now “responsible for protecting” the country’s residents. 

“Today, I came across a hard choice; I should stand to face the armed Taliban who wanted to enter the palace or leave the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting and protecting the past twenty years,” Ghani said in a statement.

“The Taliban have made it to remove me, they are here to attack all Kabul and the people of Kabul. In order to avoid the bleeding flood, I thought it was best to get out. Taliban have won the judgement of sword and guns and now they are responsible for protecting the countrymen’s honor, wealth and self-esteem,” the former president added after his escape.

Reports of widespread panic are increasingly frequent throughout the country. Citizens are trying in panic to escape from the Taliban, even at the risk of their own lives, as seen in the harrowing images of a crowd hanging from U.S. planes as they were taxiing. 

In the meantime, the Chinese regime, with its own interests, among which is its ambitious economic project of the Belt and Road in Afghanistan, celebrates the conquest of the terrorist group and offered its “friendship and cooperation,” demonstrating through its propaganda apparatus, a completely different reality from the one lived by the Afghan people. 

In the Global Times, the propaganda arm of the CCP, one could read on Monday: “It is a sunny day in Kabul. The Afghan workers who have guarded the Chinatown for a whole night are sleeping. Breakfast stalls appeared again in the streets with smiling vendors, happy that no official may come to fine them for a while. Western troops are leaving hastily without the spirit they carried when they first came… Chinese businessmen staying in the country are witnessing historic changes.”