Afghan resistance fighters will avoid conflict if the Taliban agree to a “power-sharing deal,” the leader of the Afghan resistance movement in Panjshir, Ahmad Massoud, said.
“If the Taliban are willing to reach a power-sharing deal where power is equally distributed and is decentralized, then we can move toward a settlement that is acceptable to everyone,” Massoud, the son of one of the main leaders of Afghanistan’s anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s, told Foreign Policy magazine.
“Anything less than this will be unacceptable to us, and we will continue our struggle and resistance until we achieve justice, equality, and freedom,” he was quoted as saying.
The fighters – who call themselves the National Resistance Front – have been holed up in Panjshir valley, north of Kabul, since the Taliban took over the country on August 15. Panjshir is the last remaining Afghan province not under the control of the extremist group.
On August 22, Massoud had told Al Arabiya that Panjshir valley will not be handed over to the Taliban and resistance fighters will be ready to fight back if the extremist group tries to seize it.
“We confronted the Soviet Union, and we will be able to confront the Taliban,” he said at the time.
Massoud had also called for the formation of a comprehensive government to rule the country with the participation of the Taliban, warning that war would be “unavoidable” if the extremist group refuses dialogue.
In his interview with the Foreign Policy, Massoud claimed that the resistance movement was receiving no outside support as several US officials called for the recognition of Massoud and former Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh as the formal government of Afghanistan.
Saleh is currently in Panjshir alongside the resistance fighters where he has declared himself the country’s rightful president.