By Mohammed Yasser
Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the Afghan National Resistance Front, continues his offensive against the ruling Taliban movement in Afghanistan. Amidst the ongoing conflicts and disputes between the two sides, this latest round of confrontations unfolded during the Front’s commemoration of the twenty-second anniversary of the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s father. The event featured an armed display by the movement’s members in the province of Panjshir, characterized by provocations and accusations from Massoud, alleging Taliban support for terrorist groups within Afghanistan.
Provocation and Accusations:
During the commemoration organized by the Afghan National Resistance Front, marking the anniversary of Ahmad Shah Massoud’s father’s death, Massoud stated that the Taliban maintained its ties with regional and international terrorist groups. He asserted that the Taliban had provided these groups with billions of dollars in facilitations since seizing power, emphasizing that the resistance front continues to fight against the movement. Massoud further contended that the interests of the Afghan people and the world lie in establishing a legitimate system in Afghanistan derived from the people. He warned against any interaction with the Taliban, highlighting the potential unacceptable outcomes, especially in the areas of counterterrorism, women’s rights, and drug control, in the absence of a legitimate system in the country.
Massoud emphasized that the legitimacy in Afghanistan should only pass through the people, a matter the Taliban disregards. He argued that the group’s control has resulted in violence, exacerbated poverty and unemployment, sustained cruelty and crime, and the proliferation of terrorist threats in the region and the world.
The Taliban has not issued any response to Ahmad Shah Massoud’s statements, despite previously demolishing his father’s tomb during the commemoration of his death anniversary in Panjshir. The movement has not released any statement addressing Massoud’s recent remarks, considering them inconsequential.
After the Taliban’s takeover of the main stronghold of the resistance in Panjshir, the Afghan opposition, led by Ahmad Shah Massoud, intensified efforts to form alliances with traditional opposition factions against the Taliban. Massoud successfully rallied numerous leaders inside Afghanistan and in world capitals to condemn the Taliban.
Political Image of Ahmad Massoud:
Ahmad Massoud seeks to portray himself as a moderate politician who could serve as an alternative to the Taliban, capitalizing on the movement’s perceived sympathy towards extremist groups. Dr. Mohammed Abdelrazeq, an expert in Asian affairs, notes that Massoud’s statements against the Taliban are natural in the context of the power struggle. He emphasizes that Massoud’s front is no less dangerous than the Taliban, as the history of his family, rooted in the Islamic movement influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood, reveals their commitment to armed action for achieving political power.
Massoud’s provocations against the Taliban are not new, and hence, the Taliban did not respond this time. The ongoing conflict between the two is unlikely to end anytime soon. The situation merits continuous monitoring, considering the potential for further escalation of hostilities in Afghanistan, with implications for regional and global security.