As Panjshir, the last hold-out of forces against the Taliban, falls, resistance leader Ahmad Masood urged the Afghans to “rise up” and not surrender so easily. The resistance leader warned the Afghans that Taliban 2.0 regime will be no different from the earlier one. In fact, the group had emboldened over the years and will be more extremist and rigid than ever.
Thousands of Taliban fighters overran eight districts in the province overnight, according to witnesses in the area.
Panjshir was the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces and the only province the group had not seized during their takeover of the country last month.
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the area, which was the last being held by resistance forces, had been “completely conquered” and a “number of people” were killed, while the “rest fled”.
Resistance against the Taliban refute the latter’s control of Panjshir
The opposition group the National Resistance Front (NRF) said Taliban’s claim that they control whole of Afghanistan is false. It added: “The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight.
“We assure the people of Afghanistan that the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue until justice and freedom prevails.”
“Rise up against the Taliban”, stresses Ahmad Masood
The group’s leader, Ahmad Masood, posted an audio message on social media asking Afghans to “rise up and stand against in any way possible” against the Taliban.
He added that the Taliban has not changed, and has only become “more extreme than yesterday”.
Addressing those who align themselves with the Taliban, he added: “You may have started with a good heart, but today you see your mistakes, from north to south, it’s an opportunity to seek forgiveness and to give up on bloodshed of the innocent.”
People not harmed, says Zabihullah Mujahid
Speaking at a news conference, the Taliban’s spokesman claimed there had been no civilian casualties in the takeover of Panjshir. Zabihullah Mujahid claims that more resistance would beget more violence and urged the forces against the Taliban to practice restraint and cooperate.
He added that such cooperation will be conducive for the inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan and overall stability in the country. He assured the Panjshir valley people that there will be no discrimination against them and they should not fear.
The deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said it had “taken control of the most important areas in Panjshir” and was carrying out “operations in a manner that local people are not harmed”.
Taliban to vacate all resistance
“We are performing operations in a tactical manner to force the resistance movement to vacate the area,” he said.
“As per our information, Panjshir will come under Islamic Emirate very soon.
“The resistance movement is trying to provide hope to the very few people and encourage them to fight through such claims against us, aiming for their financial gains and to hold on to their power.”