The Panjshir Valley: what is the main bastion of resistance against the Taliban advance in Afghanistan

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Panjshir province and its valley, a hundred kilometers north of Kabul, once again became the main stronghold against the Taliban, after the rest of the 34 Afghan provinces, including the capital, fell into insurgent hands. on a quick offensive.

The province is safe and all state organizations remain active, the residents are prepared for any kind of attack by the Taliban, he assured the EFE agency the head of the Panjshir Economics Department, Abdul Rahman.

“We are ready to resist the Taliban for the second time”Rahman said, referring to how during the previous Taliban regime, between 1996 and 2001, the Panjshir Valley was the only region in Afghanistan that avoided occupation by insurgents.

At the forefront of that resistance was the charismatic guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, known as the “Lion of Panjshir”, that thanks to his talents as a strategist and the natural strength that the valley supposes, managed to prevent the fall of the province under Taliban control, as it had done before during the Soviet invasion.

However, the “Lion of Panjshir” was killed two days before the 9/11 attacks, at the hands of two alleged journalists of Arab origin, who detonated an explosive charge hidden in a fake camera, an action that has been linked to Al Qaeda.

Since then, the memory of the combatant has grown by leaps and bounds and the cult of his figure is omnipresent in the valley, with his portrait wearing a traditional Tajik pakol or beret that many compare to that of another guerrilla myth, Che Guevara.

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The son of the “Lion of Panjshir”, the young Ahmad Massoud, seems to have now become one of the key pieces to lead that resistance, while the Taliban already proclaimed their victory in Afghanistan and the birth of a new era for the country.

Now many of the troops who failed to offer resistance the Taliban during their rapid offensive in the country, which in just over a week conquered 33 provincial capitals, are now in Panjshir accompanying political leaders such as the first vice president of the former Afghan government, Amrullah Saleh.

Although Abdul Rahman confirmed the presence of these security forces, he stressed that until now it is the local troops who are responsible for “95 percent” of the protection of the province.

After many political leaders left the country, such as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Vice President Saleh assured in a message that he will face the insurgents to the end. “Never, never and under no circumstances will I bow down to the Taliban terrorists. I will never betray the soul and legacy of my hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, the commander, the legend and the guide … I will never be under the same roof with the Taliban. Never ”, he remarked.

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