Minggu, 05 September 2021

Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Massoud open to talks with Taliban to end Panjshir fighting - ABC News

The leader of the Afghan opposition group resisting Taliban forces in the Panjshir valley, north of Kabul, says he welcomes proposals from religious scholars for a negotiated settlement to end the fighting.

Ahmad Massoud, head of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), made the announcement on the group's Facebook page.

Earlier, Taliban forces said they had fought their way into the provincial capital of Panjshir after securing surrounding districts.

The Taliban took control of the rest of Afghanistan three weeks ago, taking power in Kabul on August 15 after the Western-backed government collapsed and president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

"The NRF in principle agree to solve the current problems and put an immediate end to the fighting and continue negotiations," Mr Massoud said in the Facebook post.

"To reach a lasting peace, the NRF is ready to stop fighting on condition that Taliban also stop their attacks and military movements on Panjshir and Andarab," he said, referring to a district in the neighbouring province of Baghlan.

A large gathering of all sides with the Ulema council of religious scholars could then be held, he said.

Newly absorbed personnel in the Afghan security forces take part in a military training
Panjshir forces have been fighting the Taliban.(

AFP: Ahmad Sahel Arman


Earlier, Afghan media outlets reported that religious scholars had called on the Taliban to accept a negotiated settlement to end the fighting in Panjshir.

There was no immediate response from the Taliban.

Mr Massoud, who leads a force made up of remnants of regular Afghan army and special forces units as well as local militia fighters, called for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban before the fighting broke out around a week ago.

Several attempts at talks were held but they eventually broke down, with each side blaming the other for their failure.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi said earlier on Sunday that their forces had fought their way into the provincial capital Bazarak and had captured large quantities of weapons and ammunition.

Panjshir's history of resistance

Afghans carry a wreath of flowers during a ceremony commemorating the 11th anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud.
 Mr Massoud's father, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was killed in a suicide attack in September 2001.(

AP: Ahmad Jamshid


On Sunday, the NRF confirmed that its main spokesman, Fahim Dashti, had been killed during the day.

Mr Dashti had survived the suicide attack that killed Mr Massoud's father, Ahmad Shah Massoud, on September 9, 2001, just days before the September 11 attacks on the United States.

He had been one of the main sources of updates from the area as the Taliban pressed in on opposition forces, issuing a defiant series of statements on Twitter, vowing that resistance would continue.

Panjshir, a rugged valley in the mountains north of Kabul that is still littered with the wreckage of Soviet tanks destroyed during the war in the 1980s, has proved very difficult to overcome in the past.

Under Mr Massoud's late father the region resisted control by both the invading Soviet army and by the Taliban government that previously ruled from 1996 to 2001.

But that effort was helped by supply routes leading north to the border, which were closed off by the Taliban's sweeping victory last month.

The Panjshir fighting has been the most prominent example of resistance to the Taliban.

But small individual protests for women's rights or in defence of the green, red and black tricolour flag of Afghanistan have also been held in different cities.


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2021-09-05 20:26:44Z

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