A group of fighters in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley that has organized as a resistance against the Taliban sent a delegation to meet with the Taliban leaders in the Parwan province on Wednesday. The two sides agreed not to attack each other until the second round of negotiations, Afghanistan’s TOLO News reported.
Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, a representative of the Panjshir resistance, wrote about the outcome of the talks on Facebook. “After three hours of discussion, it was decided that both delegations will share the message with their leadership and resume the negotiations to reach a durable peace in the country. It was also decided that the parties should not attack each other until the second round of negotiations,” he wrote.
Anamullah Samangani, a Taliban representative, said there were major differences between the two sides, so little progress was made in the initial round of talks. “The Panjshir delegation was more focused on the overall structure of the governance system. Since there were big differences between the two sides’ demands, both sides decided to take the messages to their leaders,” he said.
Ahmad Massoud has emerged as the leader of the Panjshir resistance. Massoud is the son of the famed Afghan mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was killed in 2001. Massoud wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post calling for the US to support the resistance.
But other leaders involved in the resistance appear to be taking a more diplomatic tone, including Amrullah Saleh, the last vice president of the US-backed Afghan government who served under Ashraf Ghani. After Ghani fled Afghanistan, Saleh declared himself the “caretaker president” of the country, and now, he seeks a role in the new government.