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Taliban cordon-off Panjsher, Ahmed Wali Masood set to surrender

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  • Post category:Asia / Featured / Politics
  • Post last modified:24/08/2021
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KABUL: Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Monday (23rd day of August, 2021) claimed that Salang Valley had been reopened for traffic and their fighters had cordoned off Panjsher, the stronghold of Ahmed Wali Masood son of warlord Ahmed Shah Masood. 

It is quite clear that Ahmed Wali Masood will sooner or later have to surrender, as he not only lacks resources and international support but also no opposition fighters are willing to get involved in such skirmishes. Moreover, Zabihullah Mujahid had reported that the Taliban fighters had not only captured three districts of Baghlan province (Banu, Pul-e-Hisar, Salah) but were also about to take control of Takhar, Badakhshan and Andarab districts.

According to sources  Ahmed Wali Masood, who  is holding Panjshir Valley with few hundred soldiers, will not be able to defend the last bastion of anti-Taliban territory in Afghanistan and will soon sign a surrender truce. Earlier, Massoud stated that his forces surrounded by Taliban would fight to the last breath. Amrullah Saleh has also joined Masood. Saheh had been claiming, by means of Twitter, that after the escape of Ghani he is the acting leader of the country.

Here are the main developments since the Taliban seized Kabul, taking power again in Afghanistan after two decades of war.
– Lightning takeover –
On Sunday, Taliban fighters appear on the edge of Kabul after a lightning offensive launched in May as US and NATO troops began to withdraw.
In the space of 10 days, they had seized city after city across the country with little or no resistance.
– ‘Peaceful transfer’ –
As the Taliban pour into the suburbs, embattled President Ashraf Ghani urges government forces to maintain security in the capital.
He flees a few hours later.
The Taliban say they want a “peaceful transfer of power”.
– ‘The Taliban have won’ –
Television images show the Taliban seizing the presidential palace.
In a Facebook post, Ghani says the “Taliban have won” and that he fled to avoid a “flood of bloodshed”.
The local Tolo media organisation suggests he is in Tajikistan.
– Airport chaos –
Frightened people besiege Kabul airport, the only exit route from the country. Chaos breaks out on the tarmac, carrying on into Monday as people try to rush aircraft.
All military and civilian flights are halted, before resuming in the evening.
– ‘Terrorism sanctuary’ fears –
China becomes the first country to say it is ready to deepen “friendly and cooperative” relations with the Taliban’s Afghanistan.
It later accuses Washington of “leaving an awful mess”.
The UN Security Council says the country must not become a breeding ground for terrorism.
French President Emmanuel Macron pledges a robust European approach against illegal migration in the wake of the takeover.
– Biden defends exit –
US President Joe Biden cuts short his holiday to address the nation Tuesday, insisting he has no regrets and emphasises that US troops cannot defend a nation whose leaders “gave up and fled”.
– Go back to work –
The Taliban tell civil servants in Kabul to resume their duties “without any fear”. Some shops reopen and evacuation flights from the city’s airport restart.
– ‘Shameful’ for West –
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the chaotic scenes at Kabul airport are “shameful for the West”.
Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for EU action to take in the most vulnerable.
– NATO blames Afghans –
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg blames Afghan leaders for the “tragedy”.
Russia says the Taliban’s initial assurances are a “positive signal”.
– Taliban leader returns –
Within hours of Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar returning to Afghanistan, the group says it will be “different” this time, that it will pardon its enemies and women will not have to wear the all-enveloping burqa.
– ‘Women can work’ –
At their first press conference since seizing power, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declares they will let “women work in accordance with the principles of Islam”.
Girls return to school in Taliban-held Herat.
– EU ‘must talk’ to Taliban –
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says the bloc will have to talk to the Taliban, while Canadian premier Justin Trudeau says he will not recognise their government.
– ICC: Possible violations –
Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, says reports of crimes during the Taliban advance may amount to violations of international law.
Taliban- UK to take 20,000 Afghans –
Despite the Taliban’s conciliatory tone, Afghans and foreigners continue to flee Kabul Wednesday.
Britain says up to 20,000 Afghans could be resettled in the country.
London has so far evacuated 2,000 since the return of the Taliban, with the United States flying out a similar number.

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