Pakistan rejects reports of aiding Taliban offensive in Panjshir Valley
Pakistan has rejected reports that it was aiding the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley, terming these as a "mischievous propaganda campaign." On Monday, the Taliban group had said that they have seized Panjshir Valley, the last province not in their control after their blitz through Afghanistan last month. Here are more details on this.
Twenty-seven helicopters full of Pakistani Special Forces aided Taliban: Reports
Some reports quoted a CENTCOM source saying that the Pakistani military was assisting the Taliban offensive in Panjshir with 27 helicopters full of Pakistani Special Forces backed up by drone strikes. The Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar in an overnight statement categorically rejected these allegations as part of a mischievous propaganda campaign.
Allegations were part of desperate attempt to malign Pakistan: Statement
"These malicious allegations were part of a desperate attempt to malign Pakistan and to mislead the international community," read the statement. The spokesperson reiterated Pakistan's abiding commitment to a peaceful, stable, sovereign, and prosperous Afghanistan. The Taliban insurgents seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August, ousting the previous elected leadership which was backed by the West.
Panjshir is home to between 150,000 and 200,000 people
The takeover comes nearly 20 years after US forces led an invasion to topple the Taliban. Panjshir, a rugged mountain valley, is home to between 150,000 and 200,000 people. It was a center of resistance when Afghanistan was under Soviet occupation in the 1980s and during the Taliban's previous period of rule, between 1996 and 2001.
Taliban announced its 'complete capture' of Panjshir province on Monday
The Taliban gained "full control" of the Panjshir province, the last one to hold out against it, on Monday. Several leaders of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, including spokesperson Fahim Dashti, were killed, reports say. Earlier, the chief of the resistance front had said he is ready for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban to end the fighting.