Afghan resistance accuses Taliban of crimes and torture in Panjshir

The National Resistance Front led by Ahmad Massoud is present in northern Afghanistan, albeit in a limited way. The United Nations says some 22 opposition groups exist in the country. Anti-Taliban groups lack weapons and money.

Kabul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The National Resistance Front (NRF) has accused the Taliban of ethnic cleansing and war crimes in northern Afghanistan.

Ali Maisam Nazary, a spokesman for the NRF, which opposes the Islamic Emirate, said that the Taliban perpetrated atrocities in some districts of the country, aggravating social schisms. 

In the past month, at least 43 civilians have been arrested in Panjshir province with families asked to pay a ransom (firearms in exchange for relatives’ release), while some detainees have been reportedly subjected to torture on a daily basis.

More than a year after the Taliban seized the country again, some opposition continues, mainly in the north. The  NRF is the main anti-Taliban group, betting on the fear of international terrorism to gain Western support.

Ahmad Massoud heads the NRF. He is the son of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud (Lion of Panjshir), a military commander assassinated in 2001 after leading the Northern Alliance against the Taliban.

"Afghanistan is turning into a hub for terrorism,” Foreign Policy quotes him as say. The Taliban’s goal is to spread around the world.

But the NRF is not alone. According to the latest UN report, despite its current inability to operate outside Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is still solidly implanted in the country. In total, at least 22 groups are trying in some way to oppose the Islamic Emirate.

In some areas, the NRF is working with the Afghanistan Liberation Front (ALF), headed by Lieutenant General Yasin Zia, a former Afghan Deputy Defence Minister.

Both he and Massoud (who found refuge in Tajikistan) are raising money, weapons, and support for their cause abroad.

Yet,  without victories the resistance cannot attract weapons and funding, Zia noted, and without weapons and money, defeating the Taliban will be harder if not impossible. The question now is who has an interest in supporting another war in Afghanistan?

Last week reported that a district in the far north of the country had fallen to the RFR, only to be retaken by the Taliban next day.

Low-intensity guerrilla favours the Taliban who can rely on the modern weapons and equipment left by the Americans estimated by some to be worth US$ 85 billion dollars.

Despite its capacity to contain groups like the NRF, the Taliban’s main rival is the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K), the Afghan branch of the Islamic State (IS) group. In addition to targeting religious minorities, like Shia Hazaras, deemed heretical, the IS group continues to attack Taliban targets, like last week.