English News


Panjshir fighters say they are standing firm in war with Pakistan-backed Taliban forces

A scene in Panjshir Valley where war is raging between Pakistan-backed Taliban and the anti-Taliban resistance forces (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@PanjshirObserv)

“News of Panjshir conquest is circulating on Pakistani media. This is a lie,” Ahmad Massoud, leader of the anti-Taliban resistance force said in his twitter post on Friday night.

He said the Taliban cannot take over the Panjshir Valley as long as he is alive.

Ahmad Massoud told his comrades that the Taliban are using different tactics to spread misinformation. “Comrades, this is simply disinformation. I just spoke with my local sources. In fact, this shows how desperate the Taliban have become in facing a fierce resistance in Panjshir. But this is just the beginning. You cannot impose yourself on 35 million people by using violence and extremism”.

In a video message, another leader of the resistance, the former vice president and acting president Amrullah Saleh said that the report of his fleeing the Panjshir front line is Taliban propaganda. He confirmed that the Taliban has been attacking from all the sides with the help of Pakistan and al-Qaeda.

"We are under invasion, the situation is difficult. We are under attack from terrorists, as usual backed by Pakistanis. The resistance is not going to bow, not going to surrender to terrorism."

An Indian journalist based in Kabul, posted on Twitter quoting sources that “Taliban did infiltrate Khwak pass but were cut off from the larger group. They’re now stuck in the pass surrounded by the resistance forces.

The fact that al-Qaeda fighters have joined the Taliban fighters has also been reported by Al Arabiya quoting its sources.

Recently Reuters, too, has reported, quoting Pakistani officials that Pakistan had sent security and intelligence officials, possibly even the head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, to Kabul to help the Taliban reorganise the Afghan military.

These reports came on a day that saw both the Taliban and the National Resistance Force (NRF) claiming victories and denying defeats. The NRF claims that it has about 10,000 fighters, made up of various local militias and former Afghan security force members. It is led by the son of legendary the “Lion Of Panjshir'' commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by the suicide bombers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, two days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The elder Massoud famously helped fight both the Soviet army and the Taliban to a standstill from his stronghold in the Panjshir Valley, situated in the Hindu Kush mountains.

Massoud's forces are supported by Amrullah Saleh, who was vice president under President Ashraf Ghani.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Amrullah Saleh asked the world to help them in the fight against the Taliban which are getting guided by Pakistan. The Taliban's spokesperson are receiving directions, literally every hour, from Pakistan.

“For the Taliban have not won any hearts and minds. They have simply exploited the flawed policy of a fatigued American president — not necessarily the United States itself — and they are being micromanaged by Pakistan's notorious intelligence agency, the ISI,” Saleh said.

Meanwhile, Salahuddin Rabbani, son of former president of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani has also joined the resistance force.

As reported earlier, Tajikistan on Thursday awarded the country's highest distinction to former Afghan defence minister Ahmad Shah Massoud and former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani. Both were known for their fights against the Taliban.

Also Read: Tajikistan confers highest awards to resistance icons Ahmad Shah Massoud and Burhanuddin Rabbani

Meanwhile, history is repeating in the remote 70 mile long valley, bordered by high mountains, a geographical stronghold and the last province in Afghanistan to hold out against the Taliban, where fierce battle is on once again but it isn't clear how long the resistance can hold out against a larger and better-equipped Taliban force supported by Pakistan and al-Qaeda.

Also Read: Taliban wants to kill Ahmad Massoud in battle, says former Afghan Ambassador