'No one has entered Panjshir'; Afghan resistance rejects Taliban's claims
The supporters of resistance leader Ahmad Massoud refuted the Taliban's claim of entering the Panjshir province from various directions. Rejecting the Taliban's claim, Mohammad Almas Zahid, the head of the Resistance Front delegation, maintained that "there is no fight" and "no one has entered the province." The statement comes amid reports of ongoing talks between Massoud and the Taliban for a peace deal.
Massoud supporters warn Taliban of consequence if negotiation fails
Rejecting the Taliban's claim, Zahid warned of consequences upon the failure of the second round of talks, which are due in two days. "The failure of negotiations will have heavy consequences for both sides because war will pave....way for foreign intervention, and intervention will prolong the war." During the first talk, both sides had agreed not to attack each other until the second round.
Taliban said they entered Panjshir 'without facing resistance'
On Saturday, the Taliban had claimed that their forces entered the Panjshir province "without facing any resistance." "No fighting occurred, but the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan advanced from various directions without facing any resistance," said the Taliban's Anaamullah Samangani. Samangani added that the door is still open for negotiations. Reportedly, a Massoud delegation had met the Taliban delegation in Kabul Saturday.
Want to hold talks, but ready to fight: Massoud
Earlier, Massoud had said that while he hoped to hold peace talks with the Taliban, his forces were ready to fight if the latter tries to invade Panjshir. "We want to make the Taliban realize that the only way forward is through negotiation."
US senators push to recognize Panjshir as secure zone
Meanwhile, two American senators are reportedly pushing for the recognition of Panjshir as a secure zone. Some resistance leaders should also be recognized by the US and others, they said. Notably, Panjshir is the only province that did not fall to the Taliban after the latter seized power in Afghanistan. Panjshir also has a history of resistance against both the Soviets and the Taliban.
Taliban faces resistance from Panjshir
Massoud and former Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh are trying to mount a challenge to the Taliban from the Panjshir province. Over 6,000 fighters, consisting mainly of the remaining Afghan Army, Special Forces, and the local militia have gathered in the Panjshir valley, 90 miles north of Kabul, reports said. Over the past week, clashes have erupted between the resistance and the Taliban.
What is happening in Afghanistan?
It has been almost two weeks since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan after the capital city, Kabul, was captured. The group gained ground as the US withdrew its troops to end its two-decade-long 'War on Terror'. While the Taliban is trying to form an "inclusive government," several Afghans are rushing to flee the country, fearing reprisals, and the return of harsh Islamic rule.