An anti-Taliban resistance group say they’re ready to fight the Taliban

A resistance group of anti-Taliban fighters say they are ready to fight the militant group if peaceful negotiations cannot be met.

The founder of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), Ahmad Massoud, claims that the group has thousands of fighters at its disposal.

Reportedly, Afghanistan’s former Vice President, Amrullah Saleh, has joined them.

Ahmad Massoud
Photo: menafn.com

Massoud has gone on record with the BBC to explain his group’s approach to the Taliban’s recent takeover of the Middle Eastern country.

“We prefer to pursue peace and negotiations before any sort of war and conflict,” Massoud said. “[I]f this fails… Then we’re not going to accept any sort of aggression”.

The group’s goal is to see a fairer government placed in power. Specifically, they want an inclusive governing body and representative of all ethnic groups present within the country.

“The NRF believes that for lasting peace we have to address the underlying problems in Afghanistan,” explained Ali Nazary, the head of foreign relations for the NRF.

“Afghanistan is a country made up of ethnic minorities, no one is a majority. It’s a multicultural state, so it needs powersharing—a power-sharing deal where everyone sees themselves in power.”

The NRF are situated in the Panjshir valley in northeastern Afghanistan, approximately 150 kilometres north of Kabul. It is the only province that is free of Taliban control.

The valley—with its steep mountains—has long been a site of military resistance.

The region’s topography leaves “only one major point of exit and entry when approaching from Kabul”. As a result, any invading forces have no choice but to enter the valley “through a narrow gorge”.

In the 1980s, the area saw “at least nine unsuccessful major Soviet offensives to retake the region” with resistance fighters withstanding a multitude of attacks.

These consisted of “ground forces, airborne units and helicopter assaults”.

At the time, they were led by the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, the father of the aforementioned NRF founder.

“I write from the Panjshir Valley today, ready to follow in my father’s footsteps, with mujahideen fighters who are prepared to once again take on the Taliban,” Massoud wrote to the Washington Post.

“We have stores of ammunition and arms that we have patiently collected since my father’s time, because we knew this day might come.”

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban, has confirmed that the militant group has sent forces to the area. However, they hope to “resolve this issue peacefully”.

After announcing that they would remove their troops from Afghanistan, the United States government has said that they aim to complete their evacuations by August 31.

Taking to Twitter with an update, the White House shared that “approximately 10,900 people were evacuated from Kabul” today.

“Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 48,000 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 53,000 people.”