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Massoud Appeals for Global Support Against Taliban

Ahmad Massoud (L), leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan and the leading Afghan fighter against the Taliban, and Aliya Yilmaz, Afghan women's right activist, speak to journalists at Concordia Press Club, on the occasion of the intra-Afghanistan conference, in Vienna, Austria, on September 16, 2022. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Afghan opponent Ahmad Massoud, son of Commander Massoud, killed in 2001 by the Taliban, asked Friday for more “aid”, including military, from the international community to help his fighters in the “guerrilla” they are waging according to him against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

“The world must start supporting the opposition as it deserves. If the negotiations fail, if the political pressure fails, if the economic pressure put on the Taliban leads to nothing, perhaps it is time to listen to the “opposition”, he declared from Paris on the occasion of the release of a book dedicated to him.

“After two years of trying to whitewash the Taliban, to say that they have changed”, when “they are only getting worse”, the international community must “start thinking about helping the Afghan opposition”, insisted the leader of the National Resistance Front (NRF), who lives in exile.

Because it “fights on the front line for values” such as “human rights, women’s rights, freedom of expression, democracy”, he listed. And he said: “If these are the same values that the West says it defends, then it must stand by our side.”

The National Resistance Front (NRF) was the last group to resist the Taliban takeover of the country in mid-2021 by retreating to the Panchir Valley, famous for its fierce battles against Soviet forces in the 1980s and for his opposition to the Taliban regime when they first took power in the late 1990s.

Episodic scuffles

Although violent fighting took place there for several weeks, won by the Taliban, clashes still occur occasionally, in remote areas, where information is difficult to get through.

The NRF went from a “conventional war” against the Taliban, vastly superior to it in strength and number, “to a more pragmatic approach, namely guerrilla warfare”, explained Mr. Massoud, who claims “52 attacks” recent attacks against the forces in power, which the AFP cannot verify.

His troops, he claims, have seen their number increase from 1,200 to 4,000 men.

“This is enough to be a headache for the Taliban, but not to overthrow them or create enough problems for them to agree to participate in negotiations,” he said.

Asked about the nature of the expected international aid, potentially military, Ahmad Massoud replied that he “would not refuse any aid from any country”, “nothing” having reached him so far.

This article is originally published on arabnews.fr

 

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