Washington: In a joint statement after talks with Afghanistan’s caretaker President Amrullah Saleh, US Senate Republican Lindsey Graham and Congressman Mike Waltz have called on US President Joe Biden to recognise Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, who is leading the resistance in Panjshir, as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
Waltz, from Florida, in a statement said the Biden administration should recognise that the Afghan constitution is still in force and the Taliban’s seizure of power is illegal.
They also said in the statement that Panjshir in northeastern Afghanistan, which has not been taken over by the Taliban, should be declared a humanitarian zone.
The statement said that Saleh and Massoud chose to stay and fight for the freedom of the Afghan people and oppose extremism.
They also called on the president to designate the Afghan Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and urge him to publicly support Congressional efforts to stand with “our friends in the Panjshir Valley who will serve as a bulwark against regional terror”.
The statement read:
“On Friday, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) released the following joint statement:
“After speaking with Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh and representatives of Ahmad Massoud, we are calling on the Biden Administration to recognize these leaders as the legitimate government representatives of Afghanistan. We ask the Biden Administration to recognize that the Afghan Constitution is still intact, and the Afghan Taliban takeover is illegal.
“These leaders chose to stay and fight for the freedoms of the Afghan people and oppose extremism. They have established a safe haven in the Panjshir Valley for Americans left behind, our allies, and those seeking freedom from Afghan Taliban rule. They will also be on the front lines in the fight against global Islamic Extremism, which will continue to plot attacks against the West in the wake of our withdrawal from the region.
“We call on President Biden to designate the Afghan Taliban as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and we urge him to publicly support Congressional efforts to stand with our friends in the Panjshir Valley who will serve as a bulwark against regional terror.”
Waltz tweeted: “After speaking with Afghan VP Amrullah Saleh & Reps of Ahmad Massoud,
@LindseyGrahamSC & I are calling on Pres. Biden to support a humanitarian safe zone in Afghanistan and Congressional efforts to stand with opposition forces in the Panjshir Valley.”
Separately, Saleh tweeted on the Kabul blasts that killed over 100 people and left scores injured.
“The world must not bow to terrorism. Let’s not allow Kabul airport to be the site for humiliation of humanity & “rules based world order”. Let’s believe in our collective effort and energy. Defeatist psyche puts you under risk more than terrorists. Don’t die psychologically,” he tweeted.