Massoud to resign in case of equal division of power

TEHRAN, Aug. 31 (MNA) – Ahmad Massoud, the Leader of the National Resistance Front in Afghanistan said he would stop his anti-Taliban measures, in case power is divided equally in the country.

Ahmad Massoud vowed to resist the Taliban from Panjshir but has announced that if the Taliban creates an inclusive government and ensures the freedom and equality of citizens, he is willing to stop his activities against this group and withdraw from politics.

"Otherwise, we will continue to fight and resist until justice, equality, and freedom are achieved," Massoud added in an interview with Foreign Policy.

"We have the support of our people now and we will never allow the Taliban to take control of Panjshir," he underlined.

He noted that he has not received any financial support from outside the country.

The 32-year-old son of late Ahmad Shah Massoud has pledged to hold out against the Taliban from his stronghold in the Panjshir valley. The region is known for its natural defenses and was also held out against the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan in 1996-2001.

In a recent Washington Post editorial, Ahmad Massoud said members of the Afghan military including some from the elite Special Forces units had rallied to his cause and he had appealed to some countries for help.

Several countries have been cautiously optimistic about the new leadership in Kabul and are seeking contact with the militants in an effort to avoid instability spilling over to neighboring ex-Soviet states.

The US messy withdrawal put an end to a futile two-decade-long war the United States waged in Afghanistan.

For now, the Taliban have vowed to respect the rights of women, seek good relations with other countries, and not to exact retribution on former members of the Afghan military. Many Afghans remain skeptical, however.

HJ/FNA14000609000308

News Code 178051

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