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Besieged Panjshir fights on, but lengthy negotiations with Taliban may not be far away

Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s National Hero and Lion of Panjshir Ahmad Shah Massoud, hopes for negotiations to resolve the issues, but is ready for war

Taliban's spokesperson  Zabihullah Mujahid has claimed that the Taliban fighters have laid siege  around Panjshir valley cornering the Northern Alliance forces led by Ahmad Massoud.

“The enemy is under siege. We are fighting for a peaceful settlement and trying to solve the problem through negotiations”, he claims. And in its effort for making peace, the Taliban leadership has asked Russia to mediate but on Monday, Russia refused to do so.

Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s National Hero and Lion of Panjshir Ahmad Shah Massoud, too has said that he hoped for negotiations to resolve the issues, but at the same time,  he is ready for war if the negotiations fail. But  what is unacceptable to the Northern Alliance led by Massoud and “acting President”  Amrullah Saleh, is the formation of "an extremist government” of the Taliban.

"We sacrifice our lives, but we do not sacrifice our land and our honour," Massoud was seen saying to the people of the Panjshir valley,  in a video clip shared on social media.

Taliban has also put video clips of its fighters with American weapons in American armoured Humvee claimed to seize from Afghan security forces. The militant group also said that its fighters have retaken Badakhshan, Takhar and Andarab near the Panjshir Valley. It has cut-off the entrances to the valley, thereby disrupting the supply lines of the Panjshiri fighters.

Northern Alliance’s leader and acting president Armrullah said in his tweet:  “The Taliban are not allowing food and fuel to enter the Andrab Valley. The human condition has become very bad. Thousands of women and children have left the mountains. Children and the elderly have been kidnapped by the Taliban in two days. Terrorists are using them as shields so that they can roam freely and do door-to-door searches.”

Even though the Taliban had besieged Panjshir, the Northern Alliance fighters still  have opened Panjshir’s borders with other areas in the Salang area.

Panjshir, which is mostly inhabited by ethnic Tajiks, remains the last major region outside Taliban control. The US and its allies may regard Panjshir as a “bulwark” against the Taliban but for this to happen, they have to provide support  to the Northern Alliance. 

Also Read: Mr President, give us arms to fight the Taliban, Northern Alliance requests Biden


According to pro-Taliban accounts, the negotiations in Panjshir are not about who and how  the country will be ruled, but full implementation of Sharia (Islamic law). Massoud and Saleh want a new system of government where all ethnic groups, women will be part. But it seems, these are unacceptable to the Taliban. The siege and fights are on, so are the negotiations.

Also Read: Key Taliban commander trapped in valley as fierce battle rages with Northern Alliance for Panjshir