Taliban has Pakistan to thank for its takeover of Panjshir
New Delhi, Sep 07: The battle for Panjshir was not an easy one for the Taliban. After fierce fighting, the Taliban was able to capture the province.
In the early 1990s, the Northern Alliance was able to control the supply lines from Tajikistan to Panjshir.
This time around there were two important factors that helped the Taliban.
The Taliban had captured provinces north of Panjshir and hence the alliance was unable to control the supply lines. This resulted in cut of of ammunition, food and fuel. However another crucial aspect in the battle for Panjshir was Pakistan itself.
While Islamabad claims no interference, the timing of the ISI chief's visit to Kabul was a clear indicator of the interference by Pakistan.
In fact on Monday reports had said that the Pakistan army had helped the Taliban capture Panjshir. This has been criticised by Iran which said that this amounted to interference by a foreign nation in the affairs of Afghansitan.
Reports said that the the Pakistan army had dropped bombs on Panjshir with drones and this helped the Taliban to a great extent in the capture. Iran criticised Pakistan for its overt involvement in Afghanistan's internal matters. It also questioned the presence of Pakistan's military presence in the Panjshir Valley.
Last night's attacks are condemned in the strongest terms and the foreign interference must be investigated, Iranian Foreign Minister, Saeed Khatibzadeh said. We are investigating it, he also added.
Iran accuses Pakistan of running the show in Kabul. The interference became even more clear when the ISI chief, General Faiz Hameed landed in Kabul to oversee the formation of the government.
The Northern Alliance chief, Ahmad Massoud had appealed to the United States and Britain for support in the battle against Taliban. However there was no response from these countries.
This was in stark contrast to wha had taken place in the 1990s. Ahmad Massoud's, the legendary Lion of Panjshir was commanding the anti Taliban forces. He also had support from the international community which helped the northern alliance with men, arms and ammunition. Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by the Al-Qaeda two decades back, two days before the 9/11 attacks.
Following the announcement by the Taliban about its victory at Panjshir, Massoud aired a voice clip from an unknown place. While he did not mention anything about the capture of Panjshir he said that their forces are present in the province and Andarab. The National Resistance Force is for the entire Afghanistan. We welcomed the call for a ceasefire by religious scholars in Kabul, but the Taliban did not agree. It instead launched attacks. He also said that the Taliban was being backed by foreign forces.