Taliban say won't allow another insurgency, promise govt will be announced soon
Shortly after claiming that they have "completely captured" the Panjshir valley, the Taliban on Monday said that any insurgency against their rule would be "hit hard", news agency AFP reported. A spokesperson of the group also said rejected the reports that government formation in Afghanistan has been delayed due to "disagreements".
"The Islamic Emirate is very sensitive about insurgencies. Anyone who tries to start an insurgency will be hit hard. We will not allow another," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a press conference, according to AFP.
He also said "some technical things are left" and assured that government will be announced soon in Afghanistan. Mujahid asked former Afghan forces to integrate with the new regime.
Reports say that Taliban's top spiritual leader Haibatullah Akhundzada will be Afghanistan's supreme authority, and the group's spokesperson said today that he will come into public view soon.
The Taliban ousted the civilian government by capturing Kabul on August 15. Since then, they have been trying to take the Panjshir valley under their control. The valley has emerged as the last pocket of resistance.
News agency AP reported quoting witnesses that thousands of Taliban fighters overran eight districts of Panjshir during the night on Sunday. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid later issued a statement, saying Panjshir is now under the control of Taliban fighters.
"We tried our best to solve the problem through negotiations, and they rejected talks and then we had to send our forces to fight," Mujahid said at a press conference in Kabul on Monday.
The National Resistance Front (NRF), meanwhile, denied the claims made by the Taliban and said that their struggle will continue. The anti-Taliban forces are being led by former vice president Amrullah Saleh, and the son of iconic anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud who was killed just days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
"Taliban’s claim of occupying Panjshir is false. The NRF forces are present in all strategic positions across the valley to continue the fight. We assure the ppl of Afghanistan that the struggle against the Taliban & their partners will continue until justice & freedom prevails," the NRF posted on Twitter.
Nestled in the towering Hindu Kush mountains, the Panjshir Valley has a single narrow entrance. Local fighters held off the Soviets there in the 1980s and also the Taliban a decade later under the leadership of Massoud.