The province that refuses to abandon the Taliban – NRK Urix – Foreign News & Documentaries

The province that refuses to abandon the Taliban - NRK Urix - Foreign News & Documentaries

“Pangshir strongly opposes anyone who wants to enslave people,” the Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan said on Wednesday.

He had just removed the portrait of President Ashraf Ghani and replaced it with that of Vice President Amrullah Saleh.

A portrait of Amrullah Saleh will be hung at the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan on August 18.

Photo: Embassy of the Islamic Republic / Reuters

After Ghani went into exile in the United Arab Emirates, Saleh declared himself the acting legal head of the state. Previously, Saleh was also chief of intelligence.

He imagines that he will lead the Taliban opposition from the Panjshir Valley.

The lion from Panjshir – and his son

But there is something else much more important in the resistance, as a symbol at least.

Ahmed Masoud is 32 years old and the son of a legend. Ahmad Shah Massoud began his resistance struggle in the Panjshir Valley, but eventually became the main commander of most of northern Afghanistan.

Ahmed Shah Massoud with his son Ahmed in 1997

Ahmed Shah Massoud with his 8-year-old son Ahmed on August 21, 1997 at a house in the Panjshir Valley.

Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

At first he fought against the Soviet occupation, then he fought the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

“The Lion of Panjshir”, as it is called, was killed in a suicide bombing two days before the terrorist al-Qaeda attack on the United States in 2001. Two Arabs impersonated journalists.

The son Ahmed is similar to the father, as it is said in the facts.

It is a part of history that geography is on their side.

The valley is surrounded by high mountains, and the only entrance is through a narrow gorge created by the Panjshir River. So it is relatively easy to protect against attacks from the outside.

The Panjshir Valley is not far from the capital, Kabul. Yet it was rarely a military target for the rebels.

Playing on legacy

In an article in the language of Washington Post Young Massoud recalls on Wednesday how French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy visited them in the mountains when he was nine years old.

“When you fight for your freedom, you are also fighting for our freedom,” Levy said.

– My father never forgot this when he was fighting the Taliban regime, writes Masoud Al-Asghar.

FILE PHOTO: Ahmad Masoud, son of Afghan resistance hero Ahmad Shah Masoud, speaks during an interview at his home in Bazark, Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.

Ahmed Massoud, son of resistance hero Ahmed Shah Massoud, during an interview near his home in Bazark, Panjshir, September 5, 2019.

Photo: Mohamed Ismail/Reuters

He is ready to follow in his father’s footsteps and says they have been stockpiling ammunition for the 20 years since their father was killed.

Soldiers from the Afghan army and former members of the Afghan Special Forces have come to Panjshir to continue the fight.

They have a number of armored vehicles and at least one helicopter at their disposal.

Afghan government forces in Panjshir

Afghan government forces in Barakh, Benishir province, on August 19.

Photo: Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP

Western support is requested

Ahmed Masoud wrote that they “do not have enough” soldiers, weapons and ammunition.

So he asks the West to find ways to help “without delay”.

Massoud appeals to self-interest. He claims that Taliban-controlled Afghanistan will once again become a base for Islamic terrorism.

This is exactly what the Taliban have repeatedly promised to prevent. For them, state regulation is a competitor.

Afghan military helicopter in Panjshir

Several planes and helicopters were flown out of the country when the Taliban moved to Kabul on August 15. But Panjshir Valley is considered safe enough, here is a picture from August 16.

Photo: Ahmad Sahel Arman/AFP

Support from the former Minister of Defense

Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi is also from the ousted government of President Ghani It is located in Panjshir.

He says He is ready to kill to defend his homeland.

Mohammadi accuses Ghani of “selling away from home”.

Like the ambassador to Tajikistan, the former defense minister believes that his former chief and commander-in-chief should be arrested.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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