Updated: September 18, 2021 10:08:38 am
Asserting that India is Afghanistan’s “all-weather friend”, prominent Afghan activist and author Amina Zia Massoud has expressed hope that New Delhi will support the resistance forces fighting the Taliban in the war-torn nation.
In an interview to WION news channel, Amina, the niece of late powerful military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who is also called the ‘Lion of Panjshir’ for leading the strongest resistance against the Taliban, said, “We are grateful for this incredible relationship we have had with India throughout the years.”
Speaking about India’s role in Afghanistan, Amina noted that India has been “Afghanistan’s all-weather friend”.
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“During the first time when the Taliban came into power, my family was in Kabul and we left on the first flight to New Delhi. So I spent two years of my childhood in New Delhi. Personally, I have a special bond with India. As for their role, I would expect India to support a resistance,” the Afghan activist was quoted as saying in the interview in a press release issued by WION on Friday.
“I know that the Indian government does not believe in a Taliban regime. What I expect from the Indian government is to not recognise the Taliban regime as legitimate,” she said.
Amina said she expects India to help Afghan refugees and support a resistance throughout the country.
Talking about the Taliban’s claims of capturing Panjshir and rejection of these claims by the resistance forces, Amina said “Resistance is still going on, it is continuing. Unfortunately, we cannot say that much about Panjshir, we cannot speak about it, because throughout this month there has been a lot of fake news from both sides that has sort of impacted what has been going on.”
“Communication lines have been cut off, so has the internet. but I can tell you for sure that the resistance is still going on in Panjshir…Panjshir is a very difficult province to capture, mostly because of its geography and I think the Taliban realise that.”
Earlier this month, the Taliban had said they had seized Panjshir, the last province not in their control, after their takeover of the US-backed Afghanistan government in August. However, the Northern Resistance Front led by Ahmad Massoud claimed the fighting is still on.
Reacting to reports that Pakistan helped the Taliban in Panjshir, Amina said, “It is concerning if it’s true, at the moment, we still don’t know, these are still allegations. However, if any of these allegations come out to be true this is really very concerning. it impacts Afghanistan’s sovereignty.”
On September 7, hundreds of Afghan protesters, including women wearing the hijab, took to the streets of Kabul, chanting “death to Pakistan” and denouncing Islamabad’s interference as well as airstrikes by its jets in Panjshir province in support of the Taliban.
In the largest demonstration the Afghan capital has seen since the Taliban seized power last month, activists shouted in support of resistance fighters in the holdout province of Panjshir and chanted against Pakistan, which they view as meddling in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
Replying to a query on the Taliban reportedly reaching out to Pakistan and making a barter deal ‘Panjshir for Kashmir’, Amina said, “The Taliban have always been very close to Pakistan, this is not a secret. Their base was Pakistan throughout these years. This is not surprising to any afghan or anyone in the international community. This is documented evidence.”
However, she said, “These (barter deal issue) are still allegations and they are really quite concerning and I expect the international community to intervene. But at the same time, this is an allegation and has to be confirmed.”
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