Afghanistan: Panjshir resistance chief Ahmad Massoud helps ceasefire with Taliban to finish weeks of preventing

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the leader of the National Resistance Front in Afghanistan (NRF) Ahmad Massoud said he would be ready to talk as soon as the Taliban withdraw their troops from Panjshir and the neighboring district of Andarab.

Taliban spokesman Belal Kareemi had previously told CNN that the group’s militant fighters had captured all districts of Panjshir province with the exception of the capital of Bazarak and Rokha districts, which are still under the control of the NRF. But resistance fighters appeared to refute the Taliban’s claims.

Panjshir is a strategic piece of mountainous land that is rich in valuable mineral resources, around 144 kilometers north of Kabul and the only region among the 34 provinces of Afghanistan that remains outside the control of the Taliban.

For two weeks, the NRF, a multi-ethnic group made up of former Afghan security forces and reportedly numbering several thousand, continued the fight against the Taliban after the militants almost completely took over Afghanistan.

NRF leader Massoud said the group had agreed to certain measures “to ease the demands of national peace and security in the country” and “hopes the Taliban will respond to clerical requests and take practical steps”.

“The National Resistance Front stands ready to end the war immediately in order to achieve lasting peace if the Taliban end their attacks and military operations in Panjshir and Andarab,” said Massoud.

“The National Resistance Front fully supports the religious scholars’ call to lift the sentences imposed on Panjshir and hopes that the Taliban group will take this Islamic and humanitarian demand seriously and implement it,” he added.

“The National Resistance Front is proposing that the Taliban suspend military operations in Panjshir, Andarab, Parwan and Kapisa and withdraw their troops from Panjshir and Andarab. In return, the National Resistance Front will instruct their troops to refrain from military action,” said Massoud. Parwan and Kapisa are neighboring provinces of Panjshir.

There is no official response from the Taliban to Massoud’s proposals.

His comments came when heavy fighting was reported in the valley over the weekend. In a tweet on Sunday, the NRF announced that its spokesmen Fahim Dashty and General Abdul Wudod Zara had been killed.

“Unfortunately, the Afghan National Resistance lost two companions today in the sacred resistance to oppression and aggression,” the group tweeted. “May your memory be forever!”

This still from an undated video handout shows a truck with National Resistance Front markings on top of a mountain near the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Kareemi claimed on Sunday that the enemy had suffered “heavy losses”, including among its commanders, and that the Taliban hope to “clean up Panjsher as quickly as possible”. Taliban fighters are currently advancing towards Rokha and Bazarak, Kareemi added.

Prior to his death, NRF spokesman Dashti appeared to refute the Taliban’s claims and tweeted that Panjshir’s Paryan district had been “completely evacuated” by the Taliban.

“At least 1,000 terrorists were trapped by cutting the way out. All of the attackers were either killed, surrendered, or captured by locals with the help of resistance fighters as they fled and retreated. Many of these prisoners are foreigners, and most of them are are “Pakistanis”, said Dashti.

CNN has not been able to independently verify the total number of casualties in the last few rounds of the fight.

Taliban pledge security and protection for humanitarian personnel

The United Nations said in a statement on Sunday that the Taliban authorities “have promised that the safety of humanitarian personnel and humanitarian access to those in need will be guaranteed and that humanitarian workers – both men and women – will be guaranteed freedom” . the movement.”

It comes after UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths met with Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Baradar and other senior Taliban leaders in Kabul to reaffirm the UN’s commitment to humanitarian aid there.

“At that meeting, Mr. Griffiths reaffirmed the humanitarian community’s commitment to providing impartial and independent humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of people in need,” said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a statement.

The struggle for the Afghan holdout province intensifies as the Taliban advance further into the Panjshir Valley

Afghanistan faces an impending humanitarian catastrophe fueled by conflict, drought and hunger. Half of the country’s population – 18 million people – need humanitarian aid to survive, and the situation will worsen, according to Dujarric, as a severe drought, the second in four years, will further add to hunger in the coming months.

Aid planes from Qatar and Bahrain arrived in Kabul on Sunday, bringing more than 50 tons of medical aid and food into the country. Qatar sent a plane with 26 tonnes of relief supplies, and a plane came from Bahrain with 25 tonnes of relief supplies, according to a statement by the Qatari Foreign Ministry, according to Mustafa Al Sayed, secretary general of the Royal Humanitarian Foundation of Bahrain.

This is the second aid shipment to have arrived at Kabul Airport from Qatar since US troops withdrew from the country in late August. The first delivery arrived on Saturday by plane, which, according to a statement by the State Department, was carrying around 17 tons of relief supplies.

CNNs Celine Alkhaldi, Radina Gigova and Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed.

Comments are closed.