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UN should prevent Taliban's onslaught in Panjshir, negotiate political solution: Amrullah Saleh

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 September 2021, 10:41 IST

Highlighting the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Panjshir valley, former Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh has called on United Nations to do its utmost to prevent the Taliban's onslaught into the resistance stronghold.

Raising an alarm over the situation in Panjshir, Saleh in a letter to the UN said a large-scale humanitarian crisis is occurring across Panjshir province and three Andrabs districts in Baghlan province due to the economic blockade, telecommunication blackout by the Taliban.

"We call on the United Nations and the international community to do its utmost to prevent the Taliban's onslaught into Panjshir province and encourage, negotiate a political solution to ensure thousands of displaced and hosting civilians are saved," Saleh said.

Taliban and opposition forces are battling to control the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, the last Afghan province holding out against the group. Saleh, along with Ahmad Massoud -- the son of famous Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud -- another leader of the resistance, are presently in Panjshir valley and trying to mount a challenge to the Taliban.

The former vice president said that the Taliban and other foreign groups have unleashed a vicious attack against Panjshir and other free areas of northern Afghanistan.

"Around 250,000 two hundred and fifty thousand people including local women, children, elderly and 10,000 ten thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who arrived in Panjshir after the fall Kabul and other large cities are also stuck inside these valleys and suffering from the consequences this inhuman blocked."

Saleh said that "if no attention is paid to this situation, a full-scale human rights and humanitarian catastrophe including starvation and mass killing, even genocide of these people are in the making."

"The internally displaced persons and locals displaced by the Taliban onslaught are currently staying in mosques, schools, health centers, and in open spaces under the naked sky," he added.

He further highlighted the urgent need for food, water, and sanitation to prevent the crisis. "They urgently need food, shelter, water and sanitation, health care and non-food items. Office of the Acting President Amrullah Saleh appeals to the international community, the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements, NGOs and other charity organizations to rapidly and generously respond to this overwhelming humanitarian crisis."

The resistance forces in the country's northeastern province had said that they would continue fighting the Taliban as their negotiations did not lead to any results.

Last month, the Taliban captured Kabul after mounting a swift offensive in a matter of few weeks. So far, the Taliban have controlled all the regions apart from the Panjshir province.


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First published: 5 September 2021, 10:41 IST