Panjshir resistance forces reject Taliban's claim of advances as latter orders civilians to hand over weapons, vehicles

Ahmad Massoud supporters rejected the claims of a Taliban advance toward Panjshir and say no one has entered the province, reported Tolo News.

Published: 29th August 2021 10:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2021 10:29 AM   |  A+A-

Militiamen loyal to Ahmad Massoud, son of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, stand guard, in Panjshir province, northeastern Afghanistan. (Photo | AP)


KABUL: The resistance forces in the Panjshir province on Saturday rejected the Taliban claims that their forces entered Panjshir province from various directions.

Ahmad Massoud supporters rejected the claims of a Taliban advance toward Panjshir and say no one has entered the province, reported Tolo News.

"There is no fight in Panjshir and no one has entered the province," said Mohammad Almas Zahid, head of the Resistance Front delegation.

Earlier, the Taliban claimed that their forces entered Panjshir province.

"No fighting occurred, but the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan advanced from various directions without facing any resistance. The Islamic Emirate forces have entered Panjshir from different directions," said Anaamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's Cultural Commission, reported Tolo News.

Ahmad Massoud (the son of famous Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud and one of the leaders of the resistance against the Taliban) and Amrullah Saleh (former Afghan government first Vice President) - are trying to mount a challenge to the Taliban.

For a long time, fighters in Panjshir have prevented the capture of the region from Taliban terrorists by firing a heavy machine gun into a deep valley from the top of the rocky mountain.

These fighters are from the National Resistance Front (NRF), the remaining strongest force after the siege of Kabul by the Taliban.

The valley lies in the Hindu Kush mountains, approximately 90 miles north of Kabul.

The Taliban have been unable to take this major holdout of resistance after steamrolling across pro-government troops in a matter of months. 

Meanwhile, a member of the Taliban has said that the group has decided to form an "inclusive" caretaker government in Afghanistan, Pakistani media reported.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August.

According to the Taliban shura (consultation committee) member, the caretaker government will be formed inclusively by Taliban commanders and leaders from all Afghan ethnicities and tribal backgrounds in the country, reported The News International.

At present, a dozen names are being considered to be appointed as new government officials, said Taliban member.

The News International further reported that earlier appointments in the new government will be made for the ministries of judiciary, internal security, defence, foreign affairs, finance, information and a special assignment for Kabul's affairs, Taliban member said.

He further stated that the Taliban co-founder, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is present in the Afghan capital, while the Taliban Chief of Army, Mullah Muhammad Yaqoob has left Kandahar for Kabul, to have initial discussions on forming the government.

On Saturday, the Taliban said that they have gained control over the three gates of Kabul Airport as the US forces wound down evacuations ahead of its August 31 deadline, as per Tolo News.

Refuting the Taliban's claim, Pentagon said that the US military has "begun retrograding" from the Kabul airport and it's "still in charge of the airport" and the security.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said that the US troops are "retrograding" from the Hamid Karzai International airport and noted that Washington is "still in charge of the airport" and the security, CNN reported.

The Taliban on Saturday ordered Afghans to hand over vehicles, weapons, ammunition and other government property to concerned authorities.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued the directive on Twitter, reported Geo News.

"Announcement by the security of the Islamic Emirate: All those in Kabul city who possess vehicles, weapons, ammunition, or other government property, are being informed to handover the said items to the relevant authorities of the Islamic Emirate within a week in order to avoid any legal action against them," wrote Zabihullah.

Similar orders were issued by the Taliban earlier, directing the civilians to surrender the weapons they had kept for their safety since "the Taliban are now there to ensure your safety", reported Geo News.

Less than a couple of weeks since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the state of affairs in the war-ravaged country, is vastly different from what the outfit had pledged with respect to human rights.

On August 15, Kabul had fallen to the Taliban and since then people are in a state of terror with increasing cases of human rights abuses being reported from several parts of the country.

In recent weeks, the United Nations has received harrowing and credible reports of the impact on civilians of violations of international humanitarian law, as well as violations and abuses of human rights.

Soon after capturing the capital city, the terrorist group had announced an amnesty for government officials and assured women of basic rights. "However, the past few days have seen women being punished, people from the minority Hazra community being killed and children being subjected to violence," the IFFRAS report said.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), justice for women's rights offenders in Afghanistan remains elusive and the law that aims to provide legal protection to women is becoming ineffectual as the Taliban makes more territorial gains across the country.

There are grave fears for women, for journalists and for the new generation of civil society leaders who have emerged in the past years. Afghanistan's diverse ethnic and religious minorities are also at risk of violence and repression, given previous patterns of serious violations under Taliban rule and reports of killings and targeted attacks in recent months.

Due to political uncertainty following the collapse of the former government to the Taliban, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Saturday estimated that 500,000 Afghans will leave the country in the next four months.

According to the UNHCR, until now there had not been mass migration, but the evolving situation will lead to a large number of people leaving the country, reported Tolo News.

"While we have not seen large outflows of Afghans at this point, the situation inside Afghanistan has evolved more rapidly than anyone expected," said Kelly T Clements, Deputy High Commissioner.

The UNHCR asked neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to Afghan refugees.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has asked the United Nations to provide the organization with USD 12 million to provide food for in-need Afghans, reported Tolo News.

As per residents, the political uncertainty, unemployment and security issues have forced them to leave the country.

Habibullah's family is one of the thousands of families waiting outside Kabul airport hoping to leave the country.

"I worked for four years with the foreigners, but now I am jobless. I heard rumours that the Taliban are searching houses for people who worked with foreigners and killing them. I have to leave the country," Habibuallah said.

"Unemployment and security threats have forced us to leave the country to save our lives," said Ezatullah, Habibullah's son.

A number of Afghan women say that they are facing an uncertain future. They say they have studied and worked hard but do not know what is going to happen to them, reported Tolo News.

"We accepted challenges and studied in Afghanistan. Now we do not know what will happen to us. I am worried about the future of girls in the country," said Rahila, a Kabul resident.


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