(This was originally posted in India Today by Geeta Mohan)
The spokesperson of Ahmad Massoud, who is leading a resistance movement to the Taliban, said they would be part of the Kabul administration if there was an agreement for an inclusive government. Fahim Dashty, however, said no deal had been made yet with the Taliban and negotiations were on. Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary Afghan rebel commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, is presently in Panjshir valley along with former vice-president Amrullah Saleh.
“We are fighting for the whole of Afghanistan and not just for one province. We are concerned about the rights of Afghans, of women, of minorities. The Taliban has to assure equality and rights,” Fahim Dashty told India Today TV. Panjshir is the only Afghanistan province that has not yet fallen to the Taliban. Several Taliban opponents have gathered in Panjshir.
All roads leading to the Panjshir Valley are dominated by fiercely patriotic Tajik fighters who have grown up on the legend of Ahmed Shah Masooud, the fierce Northern alliance commander who successfully stood up to the Soviets in the 1980s and the Taliban between 1996 and 2001. On Wednesday, Commander Ameer Akmal of the Popular Resistance Front in Panjshir told India Today TV that they were ready for a war with the Taliban and had all the facilities.
“Most of those who have joined the Popular Resistance Front are young people, soldiers and former jihadi commanders who do not accept captivity and want a comprehensive and acceptable system for all. We have all the facilities for war and military, and we are ready against the Taliban from any gate, peace or war,” he said.