Taliban battles resistance fighters as Pakistan spy chief lands in Kabul

Afghanistan updates

Combating is raging in Afghanistan’s remoted Panjshir Valley, the final stronghold of resistance to the Taliban, because the Islamist group maintains a navy offensive to pacify the final territory holding out towards its rule.

Amrullah Saleh, vice-president of the previous authorities of Ashraf Ghani, warned of an “overwhelming humanitarian crisis” and pleaded for worldwide aid to assist an estimated 250,000 folks trapped in Panjshir.

Saleh retreated to Panjshir after Ghani, the previous president, fled the nation and has been helping lead the resistance. The previous vice-president mentioned 10,000 folks from Kabul and different giant Afghan cities had taken refuge within the valley after the Taliban takeover of the nation.

“We name on the United Nations and the worldwide group to do its utmost to forestall the Taliban’s onslaught into Panjshir Province and encourage a negotiated political resolution to make sure 1000’s of displaced and internet hosting civilians are saved,” Saleh’s workplace mentioned.

The plea got here as Faiz Hameed, chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Providers Intelligence company, arrived in Kabul to fulfill Taliban leaders and supply to assist create a “centralised navy command construction” to unite Afghanistan’s military and tribal warriors in a single pressure.

A senior Pakistani authorities official mentioned Islamabad was involved in regards to the multiplicity of armed groups in Afghanistan, particularly after the collapse of the Afghan Nationwide Military.

“The ISI chief primarily provided assist to the brand new Afghan authorities to unite a crumbled Afghan military on a typical platform,” the official mentioned. “Recreating an Afghan pressure is central to Afghanistan’s future. We are able to’t have well-armed teams scattered in every single place. That will be a catastrophe.”

A Taliban fighter stands guard in a Kabul marke
A Taliban fighter stands guard in a Kabul market. The group has not but introduced the formation of a authorities © AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Pakistan was the Taliban’s primary patron for years and considered one of simply three nations to formally recognise the group’s regime when it managed Afghanistan within the Nineties. The Taliban imposed an excessive interpretation of Islam, forcing ladies to not work, barring ladies from faculty and meting out brutal punishments, together with amputations and stonings, for alleged crimes.

The Taliban now additionally has close ties with Qatar, the place the group has a de facto embassy. Doha has led multilateral talks with the Taliban about reopening the worldwide airport in Kabul following the US exit and has helped evacuate 1000’s of foreigners and Afghans from Afghanistan in latest weeks.

Hameed’s go to was meant to remind the Taliban of Pakistan’s function in its newest conquest of Afghanistan and to easy over variations between completely different Taliban factions because the group tries to type a authorities, in response to analysts.

“The ISI is exhibiting we won this war,” Stated Sabir Ibrahimi, non-resident fellow at New York College’s Heart on Worldwide Cooperation, mentioned. “There are additionally some stories of variations between the Taliban management by way of power-sharing. He is perhaps making an attempt to mediate between the Taliban factions.”

Ibrahimi mentioned Hameed was additionally most likely making an attempt to assist the Taliban “strategise” to defeat the resistance in Panjshir, which has by no means been conquered by the group, even throughout its earlier rule.

Nevertheless, the go to by the Pakistani spy chief has dismayed many Afghans, together with some within the Taliban.

“There are plenty of unsolved issues between Pakistan and Taliban,” mentioned a member of the Islamist group. “Numerous our folks had been killed of their jails. Numerous our folks had been handed over to the US by the Pakistani forces. Now, after we are again in energy, Pakistan is making an effort to restore the connection.”

International ministers of the G7 industrialised nations in addition to China and Russia would maintain talks on the disaster as quickly as Wednesday, to debate the disaster in Afghanistan, a Japanese minister mentioned Sunday.

The digital assembly might be co-hosted by Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, and Heiko Maas, his German counterpart, and can embrace greater than 20 nations.

Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s overseas minister, instructed NHK that the G7 nations had agreed to demand the Taliban make sure the secure evacuation of individuals remaining within the nation, sever ties with terrorist organisations and respect ladies’s rights.

Motegi mentioned it could be necessary to use stress on Afghanistan “along with China and Russia, which have a sure affect” over the nation.

The UN can be planning to carry a convention on September 13 at which António Guterres, its secretary-general, will “advocate for a swift scale-up in funding, and full unimpeded entry to these in want”. The UN has warned that its food stocks within the nation might run out by the tip of the month.

The EU mentioned final week it could establish a diplomatic presence in Kabul and have interaction with the Taliban. However Josep Borrell, the bloc’s overseas coverage chief, mentioned relations would rely upon the group stopping Afghanistan from changing into a haven for terrorist teams and respect for human rights.

The EU has additionally pushed for the formation of a broad-based inclusive authorities.

Extra reporting by Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad, Fazelminallah Qazizai in Kabul and Primrose Riordan in Hong Kong

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