Resistance Counters Taliban, Says Panjshir "Fighting Continues": 10 Facts

Taliban Takeover: On Monday, pictures on social media showed Taliban members standing in front of the gate of the Panjshir provincial governor's compound.

Resistance Counters Taliban, Says Panjshir 'Fighting Continues': 10 Facts

Taliban Takeover: The Taliban claimed the "complete capture" of the holdout Panjshir Valley.

Denying the Talibans claim of the "complete capture" of the holdout Panshir Valley, the Afghan National Resistance Front (NRF) told NDTV today: "The road in the Panjshir Valley is with the Taliban. However, fighting continues in the sub-valleys."

Here are the top 10 updates on this story:

  1. The Panjshir fighting is the most prominent example of resistance to the Taliban. Since the fall of Kabul on August 15, Panjshir Valley has remained the pocket of resistance where forces led by former vice president Amrullah Saleh, and Ahmad Massoud, the son of former Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, have been fighting the Taliban.

  2. The Taliban had in the past claimed their forces had secured full control of Panjshir but fighting continued for days. Pictures on social media on Monday showed Taliban members standing in front of the gate of the Panjshir provincial governor's compound.

  3. The National Resistance Front asserted that it has "strategic positions" across the Valley. The front also tweeted: "We assure the people of Afghanistan that the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue until justice and freedom prevails."

  4. On Sunday, Ahmad Massoud said he was ready to cease fighting and start negotiations if the Taliban abandoned the province. He also said hundreds of Taliban fighters had surrendered to the Resistance forces.

  5. Panjshir, a rugged mountainous valley north of Kabul littered with the wreckage of destroyed Soviet tanks, has proved very difficult to overcome in the past. Surrounded by the towering Hindu Kush mountains, Panjshir Valley has a single narrow entrance.

  6. Local fighters held off the Soviets there in the 1980s and also the Taliban a decade later under the leadership of Massoud. Despite the geographical advantage, experts doubt that the Resistance could succeed in the long run.

  7. Ahmad Massoud's father, Ahmad Shah Massoud known as the Lion of Panjshir led the resistance against the Soviet army and the previous Taliban government that was thrown out by US forces.

  8. When the Taliban came to power in 1996, Ahmad Shah Massoud formed the Northern Alliance with other anti-Taliban commanders and held out in the Panjshir Valley and its neighbouring provinces.

  9. India backed the Northern Alliance with weapons, medical and other assistance. The relationship between India and the Northern Alliance was one of close cooperation.

  10. India has gifted or transferred a number of helicopters to Afghanistan in the past, including attack choppers. It is believed that this assistance began well before the defeat of the Taliban 20 years ago.