Afghanistan Highlights: Afghan opposition leader Ahmad Massoud Sunday said he is ready to stop fighting if Taliban withdraw from Panjshir. Welcoming Ulema Religious Council’s proposal for talks end the tussle over the valley where the opposition forces have been holding out since Kabul’s fall three weeks ago, the head of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA) said, “To reach a lasting peace, the NRF is ready to stop fighting on condition that Taliban also stop their attacks and military movements on Panjshir and Andarab.”
The Taliban on Sunday said their forces had fought their way into Bazarak, the provincial capital of Panjshir where the opposition forces have been holding out since Kabul’s fall three weeks ago, news agency Reuters reported. The police headquarters and district centre of Rukhah had fallen, and opposition forces had suffered numerous casualties, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi said on Twitter.
However, the claim has not been confirmed yet. Earlier on Sunday, Fahim Dashti, spokesman for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRFA), said the Taliban “propaganda machine” was trying to spread distracting messages.
Ariana Afghan Airlines resumed some flights in Afghanistan between Kabul and three major provincial cities on Saturday, the carrier said, after a technical team from Qatar reopened the capital’s airport for aid and domestic services. Flights between Kabul and the western city of Herat, Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan and Kandahar in the south have started, the airline said in a statement on its Facebook page.
In Panjshir, Taliban and opposition forces battled on Saturday to control the last Afghan province holding out against the militant group. Both sides claimed to have the upper hand in Panjshir but neither could produce conclusive evidence to prove it.
In other news, Taliban sources also told Reuters the group’s co-founder and head of political office Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar would lead the new Afghan government.