While military attacks by Taliban were being reported in Panjshir since last few days, on Sunday, Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA) which is holding out against the Taliban’s takeover of the country, said he was ready for peace talks if the insurgents would withdraw their forces from Panjshir and Andarab.
According to a report, Ahmad Masooud said, "The National Resistance Front is ready to stop the war immediately in order to achieve stable peace, if the Taliban group ends its military attacks and movements in Panjshir and Andarab."
“The National Resistance Front is committed to peacefully resolving differences with the Taliban in accordance with the principles of religion and morality, and is confident that the future system of the country will work with the Taliban and other groups and sects representing the Afghan people,” he further stated.
The Panjshir fighting has been the most prominent example of resistance to the Taliban, whose forces swept into Kabul on August 15 as the Western-backed government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Earlier, Ahmad Massoud had pledged to continue resisting the Taliban offensive and called for international support. He had also advocated a negotiated settlement with the hardline Islamist outfit and several attempts at talks were held but they eventually broke down, with each side blaming the other for their failure. Talks failed as both sides took contrasting positions over power-sharing deals, reports said.
The Taliban and the NRFA have been locked in battle in the Panjshir valley over the past week, with each side claiming the upper hand. While the Taliban said they have captured key districts, resistance forces said they killed over 1,000 militant fighters and pushed them back on several fronts.
Meanwhile, the chief of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, General Faiz Hameed, today met with former Afghanistan prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar during his visit to Kabul this week, TOLO News reported.
Citing a source, TOLO News said Gen Faiz Hameed’s discussions with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar centered around forming a coalition government in Afghanistan.
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