Afghan opposition party says meeting with Taliban was fruitless

  • A meeting between the only Afghan opposition group and the Taliban did not bear fruit.
  • This was according to a member of the National Resistance Front.
  • The Taliban took control of Afghanistan last year.

A recent meeting in Iran between the Taliban and the only remaining opposition group in Afghanistan yielded no concrete results, an opposition figure told AFP.

Ali Maisam Nazary, the head of external relations for the National Resistance Front (NRF), accused the Taliban of refusing to change their minds and told AFP in Paris that the two sides were staying on “pages separated”.

The NRF, led by the son of legendary resistance fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud, stands as the last bastion against outright Taliban control after the fundamentalist group seized power in Afghanistan during the withdrawal of US-led troops. United last summer.

He sought to organize the resistance from his base in the Panjshir Valley, but there is no indication that he posed a major threat to the Taliban.

On Monday, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said he had held talks over the weekend in Iran with NRF leader Ahmad Massoud and guaranteed his safety if he returned home.

Nazary told AFP that the Taliban were offering the NRF control of ministries and embassies, but showing “they are unwilling to change their mindset”, with no progress on the main demand for the NRF of a truly inclusive government.

“There were no results in these informal talks,” Nazary said.

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“We were on two separate pages. Our definition of inclusive government was different from theirs,” he added.

Nazary confirmed that there was a “brief encounter” at Sunday’s meeting in Tehran between the Taliban minister and Ahmad Massoud, followed by several hours of informal talks with an NRF delegation led by Ismail Khan, a warlord of the Afghan province of Herat.

He stressed: “We did not go to them. They came to us.

Nazary revealed that Khan – who was held by the Taliban before leaving the country – was now based in Iran and “affiliated with the resistance and we work very closely together”.

“Last Democratic Force”

The Panjshir Valley is famous for being the site of resistance to Soviet forces in the 1980s and then to the Taliban in the late 1990s when they first came to power.

Its most revered figure is Ahmad Shah Massoud, nicknamed the Lion of Panjshir, who was assassinated by Al-Qaeda two days before the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But Massoud’s troops have also been accused of failing to prevent atrocities committed by his own forces during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s.

His son has since taken up the mantle and it has been reported that he was trying to organize resistance with other Afghan leaders in exile.

Nazary claimed that the NRF still controls 60% of Panjshir and that Ahmad Massoud was “going in and out of Afghanistan” lately.

“Commander Massoud travels, he goes to many places; for security reasons we cannot specify that,” said Nazary, who traveled to Britain and Sweden before arriving in France for a tour to mobilize support for the NRF cause.

Claiming the group had 4,000 fighters, Nazary appealed for help from the international community for what he described as a “guerrilla” conflict against the Taliban.

“We need any kind of support or assistance. We are struggling with our own resources,” he said.

AFP is unable to verify the extent of the territory controlled by the NRF, while the Taliban deny any resistance to their regime.

“The NRF is the last remaining democratic force in the country, the last remaining force that represents everyone inside Afghanistan,” Nazary said.

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