The latest: Through his Nowruz message, the National Resistance Front (NRF) leader Ahmad Massoud has stated that some countries and institutions are justifying their “mistakes” under the pretext of lack of alternatives to the Taliban.
- Massoud addressed regional and world countries in his congratulatory message on the occasion of Nowruz (Persian new year) and emphasised that any kind of alignment and interaction with the Taliban is inconclusive.
- Earlier, some institutions and countries claimed that there was no alternative to the Taliban government in Afghanistan after the fall of the republican system.
- The leader of the National Resistance Front added that any interaction with the Taliban by any country is an interaction against the values that those countries consider fundamental rights for their people.
- “Pakistan-Taliban relations are the best example to support our claim. We repeatedly told Pakistani officials years ago that the policy and strategy of weakening Afghanistan by proxy groups like the Taliban may bring them a tactical victory, but it is a long-term strategic failure that Pakistan’s political, security and economic crisis today rightly illustrates that other countries are also aware of their engagement with the Taliban,” he added.
- Massoud also provides an alternative stating that a political process that refers to the people’s votes is an option against the Taliban and the status quo. “Otherwise, until we gain an acceptable system for the Afghan people to self-determination, resistance to tyranny and authoritarianism continues,” he added.
- Massoud also called on politicians to unite to save the country, regardless of “any difference of perspective”.
- He also reacted to the ban on the celebration of Nowroz by the Taliban and called it a desperate attempt to destroy the ancient cultures of citizens of Afghanistan.
- He also admired the protests by women against the Taliban policies and said that the women’s stance is a base for resistance against the Taliban’s ideology.
- The NRF leader stressed on the continuation of resistance against the Taliban. He said that the Taliban’s acceptance of democracy and civil liberties is the pre-condition to negotiating with the Taliban.
Zoom out: Led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) is the “most well-developed” of all the anti-Taliban outfits. The key areas of NRF operations with bases are in Panjshir, Pawan, Kapisa, Badakshan, Balkh, Takhar, Baghlan and Kabul provinces.
- Without backing of other countries, the opposition groups face the challenge of inter-group rivalry, which in turn is hampering their abilities to form a collective offensive group. Hence, the appeal by Massoud this new year to united all opposition forces.