South Asia and Beyond

Massoud Calls For New Anti-Taliban Political Front

 Massoud Calls For New Anti-Taliban Political Front

Afghan insurgent group leader Ahmad Massoud has urged the diaspora to unite to find a “political” solution to end Taliban rule, describing his appeal as the beginning of a “new phase”. Massoud, who heads the National Resistance Front (NRF), an armed group waging an insurgency in Afghanistan’s northern Panjshir Valley, said it was time to try to bring the Taliban back to the negotiating table. “We want to unify the diaspora… and slowly expand the dialogue and reach to the point where we have a roadmap for the future of Afghanistan,” he told a conference in Vienna. “We are in the very beginning of a new phase,” he said, as reported by AFP. The Vienna conference brought together some 30 Taliban opponents, mostly living in exile. Many groups recently formed outside Afghanistan were “not happy” with the current state of affairs inside the country, Massoud said, adding it was time to overcome differences and “heal the wounds”. The Taliban’s takeover after U.S.-led forces withdrew last year has set back women’s rights and created fertile ground for terrorist groups, he said.

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