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Some Afghans vow to resist Taliban from mountain enclave


In a mountain valley north of Kabul, the last remnants of Afghanistan’s shattered stability forces have vowed to resist the Taliban in a remote area that has defied conquerors right before. But any endeavor to reenact that background could close in tragedy — or farce.

Nestled in the towering Hindu Kush, the Panjshir Valley has a single narrow entrance and is the previous region not beneath Taliban management adhering to their beautiful blitz throughout Afghanistan. Community fighters held off the Soviets in the 1980s and the Taliban a 10 years afterwards less than the management of Ahmad Shah Massoud, a guerrilla fighter who attained around-mythic standing right before he was killed in a suicide bombing.

His 32-yr-old international-educated son, Ahmad Massoud and several major officials from the ousted Western-backed authorities have collected in the valley. They contain Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who promises to be the caretaker leader following President Ashraf Ghani fled the state.

They have vowed to resist the Taliban and are contacting for Western assist to help roll them back again.

“I compose from the Panjshir Valley currently, all set to stick to in my father’s footsteps, with mujahideen fighters who are prepared to at the time once again get on the Taliban,” Massoud wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Put up. “We have suppliers of ammunition and arms that we have patiently gathered since my father’s time, since we understood this day may occur.”

But experts say a thriving resistance is extremely unlikely — and could possibly aggravate Afghanistan’s presently substantial challenges.

While the Panjshir Valley continues to be as impregnable as ever, it’s unclear how prolonged its residents can hold out if the Taliban besiege the spot or attack it using the US-equipped armaments they have seized in latest weeks. Western nations, stunned by the collapse of a high-priced, two-10 years endeavor at remaking Afghanistan, are not likely to devote in yet another proxy war.

In this Sept 28, 2011 file image, a large poster of late charismatic guerrilla fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud is exhibited subsequent to a highway major into the Panjshir Valley. In August 2021, the previous remnants of Afghanistan’s shattered safety forces have vowed to resist the Taliban in the distant Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, that has defied conquerors just before.
AP

Ahmad Shah Massoud, nicknamed the “Lion of Panjshir,” was a person of the key leaders of the Afghan mujahedeen, self-styled holy warriors who defeated the Soviets in 1989. His Northern Alliance incorporated fellow Tajiks as well as fighters from other ethnic teams, in holding with his eyesight of an independent, multi-ethnic Afghanistan less than a reasonable variety of Islamic rule.

But as the place slid into war in the early 1990s, he observed himself battling rival warlords and inevitably the Taliban, who seized energy in 1996. All through their five-calendar year rule his forces had been confined to Panjshir and other remote places in northeastern Afghanistan.

Two times before the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults, al-Qaida militants disguised as Arab journalists who experienced come to job interview Massoud killed the commander in a suicide bombing.

His forces remained intact, on the other hand and partnered with the US when it invaded Afghanistan months later, scattering al-Qaida, which orchestrated the 9/11 attacks and driving the Taliban from electrical power.

Alongside with other previous warlords, they went on to kind the core of the authorities and safety forces that the US and its allies would invest the up coming two decades arming and teaching, at a price of billions of bucks.

People forces, which from the commencing have been rife with corruption, collapsed in a make any difference of times before this month, as the Taliban captured most of the country significantly less than three weeks in advance of the US was established to withdraw its last troops.

The youthful Massoud, who was just 12 when his father was killed, trained at the British armed forces academy at Sandhurst and also gained a master’s degree in worldwide politics from the City University of London.

 In this Jan. 9, 2005 file photo, Russian tanks are readied to be loaded onto United Nations trucks to be collected by Afghan's New Beginning Programme, in the Panjshir Valley, about 120 kilometers (74 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan.
In this Jan. 9, 2005 file photo, Russian tanks are readied to be loaded on to United Nations trucks to be gathered by Afghan’s New Commencing Programme, in the Panjshir Valley, about 74 miles north of Kabul, Afghanistan.
AP

He has small, if any, overcome working experience. Sandy Gall, a veteran international correspondent who wrote “Afghan Napoleon: The Lifetime of Ahmad Shah Massoud,” described his son as “a very personable young man with political ambitions.”

Massoud says he has been joined by really-trained Afghan particular forces and other soldiers “disgusted by the surrender of their commanders,” but neither proved to be any match for the Taliban elsewhere in the nation.

Torek Farhadi, an Afghan analyst and former governing administration adviser, claimed the team poses very little menace to the Taliban and he forged doubt on Saleh’s claims that he could lead a resistance, contacting him a “social media individual.”

“If he was a real danger he should have stayed the working day Ghani fled and defended the palace. He was the vice president and soldiers were below his get,” said Farhadi.

But even the specter of these types of a standoff, he claimed, dangers plunging the country into a further interval violence and turmoil, with dire repercussions for ordinary Afghans.

The Related Press contacted quite a few persons close to both Massoud and Saleh in buy to seek remark, but was unable to attain them. Several Afghans with ties to the ousted government have fled the region or absent into hiding.

The ousted leaders holed up in Panjshir might end up joining the negotiations that the Taliban are holding with other previous Afghan officials. The Taliban have explained they want an “inclusive, Islamic government” but will keep off on forming just one until the US. completes its withdrawal.

 In this Oct. 8, 1996 file photo, a Taliban soldier patrols the entrance to the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul. In August 2021, the last remnants of Afghanistan’s shattered security forces have vowed to resist the Taliban in the remote Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, that has defied conquerors before.
In this Oct. 8, 1996 file photograph, a Taliban soldier patrols the entrance to the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul. In August 2021, the final remnants of Afghanistan’s shattered protection forces have vowed to resist the Taliban in the distant Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, that has defied conquerors before.
AP

“We have to use our weight with the worldwide group to get ensures from the Taliban for an all-encompassing governing administration that contains gals and non-Taliban,” stated Farhadi.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, a senior Taliban formal, mentioned their forces have surrounded Panjshir.

“We are doing our very best to clear up the challenge as a result of negotiations, but if they never settle for the talks, we are completely ready to combat,” he explained.

In an job interview with the Al-Arabiya information community around the weekend, Massoud explained he would not surrender territory but could guidance a broad-dependent authorities.

A resident of Panjshir reached by cellphone claimed Massoud had warned folks that the Taliban may well assault and said families could depart if they wished. These who stayed would desire a negotiated answer but are loyal to Massoud and organized to fight if required, the person stated on problem of anonymity due to the fact of stability issues.

“Panjshir persons are utilized to this,” he said. “They have gone by way of these predicaments quite a few situations and they are prepared for it as soon as once more.”



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