Zabihullah Mujahid assured that there will be no discrimination against our Panjshir brothers as the last hold-out province and the pocket of resistance against Taliban forces fell on Monday. The valley offered tough resistance to the Taliban forces as they refused to surrender, the Taliban were finally able to gain control of the valley on Sunday.
We promise no discrimination, assures Zabihullah Mujahid
Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, in a press conference at Kabul assured the residents of Panjshir that they would be safe — even as scores of families reportedly fled into the mountains ahead of the Taliban’s arrival.
“We give full confidence to the honorable people of Panjshir that they will not be subjected to any discrimination, that all are our brothers, and that we will serve a country and a common goal,” Mujahid’s statement said.
“There is no need for any more fighting,” Mujahid said at the press conference. “All Panjshir people and those who live in Panjshir are our brothers and they are part of our country.”
Read more: Taliban battle for final holdout province of Panjshir
Panjshir falls after talks failed to get traction
The Taliban had stepped up their assault on Panjshir on Sunday, tweeting that their forces had overrun Rokha district, one of the largest of eight districts in the province. Several Taliban delegations have attempted negotiations with the holdouts, but talks failed to gain traction.
Fahim Dashti, the spokesman for the anti-Taliban group, was killed in battle on Sunday, according to the group’s Twitter account. Dashti was the voice of the group and a prominent media personality during previous governments.
He was also the nephew of Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official of the former government who is involved in negotiations with the Taliban on the future of Afghanistan.
Terrible news from Panjsher. Fahim Dashti fought hard for free media. He cared. May his soul rest in peace https://t.co/KxlXqIsBiR
— Saad Mohseni (@saadmohseni) September 5, 2021
Read more: Panjshir may surrender to Taliban within next 24 hours
Panjshir, the only province that resisted till the end
The Taliban confirmed on Monday they finally seized Panjshir, the province north of Kabul, and the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country. It was the only province that provided tough resistance and didn’t fall to the Taliban blitzkrieg-like seizure of the rest of Afghanistan provinces
According to the reports by the witnesses of the area, who spoke on the condition of anonymity fearing their safety, thousands of Taliban fighters overran eight districts of Panjshir overnight. On Monday, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement, saying Panjshir was now under the control of Taliban fighters.
“We tried our best to solve the problem through negotiations, and they rejected talks and then we had to send our forces to fight,” Mujahid later told a press conference in Kabul.
Read more: Unrelenting anti-Taliban resistance in Panjshir despite talks
Keeping fingers crossed for the “inclusive government”
As the last hold-out province falls to Taliban, an aura of uncertainty and anticipation have grappled Afghanistan and the region at large. More than that, the international community awaits Taliban’s announcement of their government and the extent to which they keep their promises.
Undeniably, the country is at the crossroads facing severe socio-economic crisis and unrest among the people remain unabated as they fear what might be in store for the country in Taliban 2.0 regime.
Apparently, as it seems, Taliban has pledged to show a moderate face and keep their word in fulfilling basic human rights. International recognition is something Taliban government requires to step in the international community and initiate diplomatic relations. As Panjshir falls to Taliban, people of Afghanistan, the region and world have kept their fingers crossed for an inclusive and facilitative political settlement and a road map for the future.
Read more: Taliban spokesman: Panjshir falls, Govt announcement soon