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Taliban rejects Panjshir Talks, vows to fight Massoud’s forces and crush resistance

The Taliban has said that reconciliation talks with the Northern Alliance or National Resistance Force (NRF) have failed and now they are going in full force to capture Panjshir

It is official – the Taliban has said that reconciliation talks with the Northern Alliance or National Resistance Force (NRF) have failed and now they are going in full force to capture Panjshir- the last “unoccupied” province of Afghanistan.

Amir Khan Mottaki, head of the Taliban Commission for Da'wah, Guidance, Recruitment, said that despite the Taliban  government's best efforts, Panjshir's camp was unwilling to resolve issues through talks and prevent war. He warned the people of Panjshir to “expel” all the leaders of the resistance force from the valley to save their valley from destruction as the Taliban fighters are going to take control by force.

“They (resistance forces) were unable to do anything with the support of the US and NATO in the last 20 years, they cannot do anything now,” Mottaki said in an audio message posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

Reacting to the threat, Amrullah Saleh, acting president of Afghanistan and leader of the Northern Alliance, said there is no question of surrender. “Our resistance is to defend all Afghan citizens' rights. This resistance is based in Panjshir… Today, this valley hosts all countries & is hope for Afghan people who are escaping from oppression & more.”

A prolonged conflict in Panjshir also threatens to spill over into neighbouring Tajikistan, threatening to draw the region into the fighting.  Hundreds of Tajiks from the southern town of Kulob say they're prepared to join anti-Taliban militias in Afghanistan, The Afghan fighters are based in the Panjshir Valley, a predominantly ethnic-Tajik region that has repelled Taliban incursions in the past. Some Tajik officials say it would be illegal for volunteers to cross the border to join the fight — but others say the call to arms nevertheless sends a message to the Taliban, Radio  FreeEurope  RadioLiberty is reporting.

The talks between the Taliban and leaders of the Northern Alliance were held last week but there was no outcome as both the groups stuck to their points. The Taliban wanted to discuss the issue of Panjshir, but Ahmad  Massoud’s representatives wanted to discuss the structure of the future government. Massoud has made it clear in his conditions for the negotiations with the Taliban that the future government of the country will have to be an inclusive one where there will be equal rights for women and minorities, but the Taliban wants the resistance force led by Massoud and former Vice President Saleh to come out in support of the Taliban and surrender, on the assurance of amnesty.

According to the Massoud’s camp, it's another trick by the Taliban to crush their movement, and   kill  Massoud and Saleh along with other commanders in the battle.

“They are insolent and aggressive, their goal is to bring the entire Afghanistan to its knees. They do not agree to any terms in the Doha talks. Their goal is to eliminate the leaders of the resistance, especially Ahmad Massoud,” the Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Wednesday.

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

According to the Taliban, their fighters led by Maulvi Fasihuddin, a Tajik Taliban commander, marched from Badakhshan, Baghlan, Parvan, Nuristan and Kunar provinces and besieged Panjshir.

According to the various social media accounts heavy fighting is on between the two groups.

One commando, Major Wazir Akbar Mohmand of the Northern Alliance, shared a picture of the readiness of his troops  on Twitter.

“Warning: 135 #Taliban killed by Resistance in Panjshir and 45 in #Kapisa /24 hr. 5k Commandos waiting in Panjshir armed with helis, humvees & heavy artillery. We are no ordinary Commandos. We are the ones that refused to surrender and will fight until death.”

The unverified account of the Northern Alliance says, “Don't believe the propaganda of enemies! All the attacks from 6 sides in Panjshir were successfully  defended by NRF,Taliban casualties so catastrophic that they cannot take all the bodies that lie around the border areas of the province. They have modern weapons but dumb minds.”