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Ghani and Dostum lead from the front to save Mazar-e-Sharif, the soul of Afghanistan

Ghani and Dostum lead from the front to save Mazar-e-Sharif, the soul of Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s president and the Commander in Chief of Afghan army Ashraf Ghani has reached Mazar-e-Sharif to save the country’s fourth largest city, the soul of Afghanistan.  For the last few days,  the city has been besieged by Taliban fighters. Fierce fighting is  underway between the  marauding Taliban and the Afghan army backed by a militia of powerful warlords.

Ghani and two iconic veteran warlords, former Vice President and Uzbek leader Marshall Abdul Rashid Dostum and former governor of Balkh, Atta Mohammad Noor along with local tribal leaders have a comprehensive plan to save the city as well as recapturing the other areas of the province.

Prior to Ghani’s arrival, Dostum was flown in with his hundreds of commandos for the defence of the last anti-Taliban stronghold in the north of the country. For Ghani, collapse of the city will be a catastrophic blow for him as well as the Afghan army.

“Taliban will meet the same fate in the north of the country as they did before – like Mullah Fazel,” said Marshal Dostum, adding that Taliban have not learned anything from their past experiences in the north. Dostum, the Uzbek leader, promised  that the security situation in the north would change for the better soon, and the people of Afghanistan would see the “sworn enemy” defeated. 

Amid the criticism from the West, especially from the US Defence secretary Lloyd Austin that the fighting “is not going the right direction” and now Afghans are on their own, the Afghan  Commander-in-Chief, Ghani has decided to build a new defence centre in the north to manage the fighting in the northern provinces. The northern provinces of the country are strategic and sensitive in all respects, If this area falls to the Taliban, the country will face a terrible economic situation. Aware of the dire situation, Ghani has replaced his army chief with Hibatullah Alizi. Sami Sadat had been appointed commander of the Special Operations Corps.

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After the meeting with Ghani, Ata Mohammad Noor confirmed the establishment of the  North Zone Command and Administration Centre in Mazar-e-Sharif. “There were also detailed discussions on weaknesses and vulnerabilities, shortcomings and deficiencies, providing telecommunications and Muharram’s necessary preparations for the next steps of the war,” he said.

“The people's resistance front has taken shape and they are fighting the enemy alongside #ANDSF in the province, says Atta M Noor, former governor of the province,” he told RTA World.

On Tuesday, Noor challenged the Taliban that commanders & soldiers, the devoted public resistance forces & ex-Mujahideen are ready for fight with them.

“We hear the enemy is planning an attack on #Balkh. Have asked the uprising forces to be standby alongside the #ANDSF. The enemy will regret if commits a mistake. Assure the people of our resistance until the last drop of my blood. I prefer dying in dignity than dying in despair.”

According to Afghan media, Batur Dostum, son of Marshall Dostum  and Khaled Noor, son of Atta Noor are already on the frontlines, fighting the Taliban. 

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Tajik leader Noor  commands a personal militia with thousands of fighters. Once the governor of Balkh province, of which Mazar-e-Sharif is the capital, he effectively still runs the province. As head of Jamiat-e-Islami, one of Afghanistan’s strongest parties, he wields influence across the north. Now united to fight  the Taliban, he and Dostum, once  bitter rivals, have buried the hatchet. The other warlords of the region  who have joined them are, Abdur Rasool Sayyaf and Habibullah Rahman Orfan who have sworn  to defend Mazar-e-Sharif.