| Afghan opposition party says meeting with Taliban was fruitless

  • The meeting between the only opposition group in Afghanistan and the Taliban was fruitless.
  • This is what a member of the National Resistance Front said.
  • The Taliban invaded Afghanistan last year.

A recent meeting in Iran between the Taliban and the only opposition party left in Afghanistan has not been effective, a prominent critic told AFP in an interview.

Ali Maisam Nazary, head of the foreign relations of the National Resistance Front (NRF), criticized the Taliban for refusing to change their mind and told AFP in Paris that the two sides remained “separate pages”.

The NRF, led by the son of well-known opposition leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, is considering itself the last resort against the entire Taliban regime after a militant group seized power in Afghanistan during the withdrawal of US-led troops last summer.

It tried to organize a protest against its base in the Panjshir basin, but there is no indication that it has posed a serious threat to the Taliban.

On Monday, Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said he had held talks in Iran over the weekend with NRF leader Ahmad Massoud and assured him of his safety when he returned home.

Nazary told AFP that the Taliban had handed over NRF jurisdiction to ministers and ambassadors, but that they had “refused to change their minds,” without progressing to the NRF’s demand for a unity government.

“There were no results from the negotiations,” Nazary said.

IN WORDS | International leaders are concerned about the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan

“We were on two different pages. Our definition of a federal government was different from theirs,” he added.

Nazary confirmed that there had been a “brief meeting” in Sunday’s meeting in Tehran between the Taliban minister and Ahmad Massoud, followed by a few hours of informal talks with NRF delegates led by Ismail Khan, Herat militant leader in Afghanistan.

He asserted: “We did not go to them.

Nazary revealed that Khan – who had been captured by the Taliban before leaving the country – was now in Iran and “agreed with the refusal and we are working closely together.”

‘The ultimate power of democracy’

The Panjshir Valley is known as a battlefield for Soviet troops in the 1980s and later by the Taliban in the late 1990s, during which time they ruled.

The most revered is Ahmad Shah Massoud, also known as the Panjshir Lion, who was assassinated by Al-Qaeda two days before 11 September 2001.

But Massoud’s troops have also been charged with felony criminal mischief for firing on a sculpture with a shotgun at a national airport in Afghanistan in the 1990’s.

Her son has taken the robe, and there have been reports of attempts to organize protests against other expelled Afghan leaders.

Nazary said the NRF still controls 60 percent of Panjshir, and that Ahmad Massoud is “entering and leaving Afghanistan” soon.

“Massoud’s leader travels, he travels to many places; for security reasons we cannot explain,” said Nazary, who traveled to Britain and Sweden before arriving in France on a trip to seek NRF assistance.

With a force of 4,000, the Nazis called on nations to support what they described as a “terrorist” war against the Taliban.

“We need all kinds of help or assistance. We are fighting for our resources,” he said.

AFP is failing to confirm the vast majority of territories controlled by the NRF, with the Taliban denying any opposition to their rule.

“The NRF is the last remaining democratic party in the country, the last representative body in Afghanistan,” Nazary said.

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