After the fall of the Panjshir province, the last one they still did not control, the Taliban have effectively completed the conquest of Afghanistan. Panjshir was captured after a few days of rather intense fighting: despite the resistance, the Taliban entered the local capital Bazarak on Monday, while Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the region, took refuge in a “safe place”, according to a rebel officer al Washington Post.
On Monday at a press conference in Kabul Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, said that “with this victory, our country is completely out of the quagmire of war” and assured the inhabitants of the province that their rights will be respected. However, this does not mean that the clashes are over. The Panjshir rebels, although they have lost their capital, are continuing to fight using more guerrilla-like tactics and clashes continued both in Bazarak and in other areas of the region on Monday. Without outside aid, however, their chances of substantial military success are very low.
Massoud, the leader of the rebels, via social media has sent an appeal to all Afghans to rebel against the regime: “Wherever you are, inside or outside the country, we ask you to rise up and resist in the name of dignity , of the integrity and freedom of our country, ”he wrote. He also condemned the international community, which instead of helping the Afghan resistance, Massoud wrote, is providing “political legitimacy” to the Taliban regime.
In addition to Panjshir, sporadic clashes have also been reported in recent days in other provinces, such as those of Wardak and Daikundi, where some groups of Hazara, a minority of Shiite Muslims for some time organized into militias, live. Some of these groups have refused to surrender and recognize the nascent regime. However, these are rather isolated clashes, which do not yet constitute a real threat to the Taliban regime.
In the meantime, the Taliban are concluding internal negotiations for the formation of a new national government, which could be announced in the next few hours, or in any case within a few days.
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Monday that the latest “technical issues” are being resolved and the new government will be announced shortly. The Taliban have promised to form a government that represents the various ethnic groups in the country and also includes women. For now, however, the negotiations have been conducted almost exclusively within the Taliban leadership, and it is assumed that they will hold the most important positions. In recent days, there was also talk of the possible inclusion in the new government of two former political leaders active in previous governments, such as Hamid Karzai, the first president of the country after the US invasion, and Abdullah Abdullah, another important politician.