Panjshir: Resistance leader says open to peace talks with Taliban

Resistance leader says open to peace talks with Taliban
The province is the most prominent example of resistance to Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The leader of the Afghan National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) waging an intense battle against the Taliban in the Panjshir Valley has said he is open to enter peace talks.

Ahmad Massoud said he supported a plan for a negotiated settlement, and called on the Taliban to end their offensive.

Reports suggested that the Taliban had rapidly gained ground in Panjshir.

The province, north of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, is the most prominent example of resistance to Taliban rule.

Taliban took control of the rest of the country three weeks ago, taking power in Kabul on 15 August following the collapse of the Western-backed government.

Mr Massoud said in a post on Facebook that the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF), which includes local militias and former Afghan security force members, would be prepared to stop fighting if the Taliban ceased their attacks.

Taliban made no immediate response to the offer.

Panjshir is home to between 150,000 and 200,000 people. It was a centre of resistance during the Taliban’s previous period of rule, between 1996 and 2001 and when Afghanistan was under Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

The NRF said its spokesman Fahim Dashti and a commander, Gen Abdul Wudod Zara, had been killed in the conflict with Taliban, while a prominent Taliban general and 13 bodyguards had also died.

The Taliban said eirlier that their forces were now in the provincial capital, Bazarak, where they inflicted “numerous casualties”, though this was disputed by the NRF.

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