Panjshir: Is the anti-Taliban resistance defeated?
The Taliban have announced that they have taken complete control of Panjshir - the last Afghan province still held by resistance fighters. Heavily armed Taliban fighters posed outside the governor's residence there, but the NRF resistance front has contradicted these claims. Meanwhile, the Taliban has appointed the first ministers of its new government. But not all commentators believe the resistance to Taliban rule is broken.
It was all wishful thinking
The West expected far too much from the resistance fighters, criticises war correspondent Domenico Quirico in La Stampa:
“The shining heroic epic that some had already described in the rosiest of colours: the valley from which the destruction of the Soviet empire once emanated, fearlessly resists the black turbans. ... All those who want to say no to the Taliban and to the dawning Middle Ages rally around young Massoud [leader of the resistance forces in the Punjshir Valley] and gather new courage. ... The humanistic and servile West attempts to be forgiven for its betrayal and returns to the playing field. ... But this script is no longer plausible. It is pure fiction. The epiphany of the good is being postponed indefinitely. The heroes are tired, they will not march. ”
Tenacious resistance makes anything possible
The philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, on the other hand, still believes in the anti-Taliban resistance, as he writes in La Repubblica:
“It lies in the pit into which the Panjshir fighters have fallen, but its flame has not been extinguished, and the last word has not yet been spoken. ... The partisans of Panjshir, forced to retreat but still resolute, are like the women of Herat, Kabul and Kandahar who stubbornly defy the Taliban. They are the mystery that remains part of humanity and that no amount of misfortune can suppress. The part that resists survives and grows stronger in the crucible of shared trials. ... They are what remains of Afghanistan, the hope. The resistance that begins.”
Courageous Afghan women standing up to Taliban
Unlike the Taliban who have returned to power, Afghanistan's women have changed, observes the Wiener Zeitung:
“The new masters, it seems, have broken all resistance in Afghanistan. This makes the news from Kabul, where women protested against their disenfranchisement on the weekend and engaged in shouting matches with the Taliban, all the more astonishing. ... That takes guts; that is courageous. After all, the Taliban are known for their brutality - no one really believes their assurances that they have changed and want to practice tolerance. ... These demonstrations show that the West's 20-year mission in Afghanistan was not completely in vain. ... The Taliban may have the same principles they had 20 years ago, but many Afghan women do not.”
The beneficiaries are Pakistan and China
The NRF resistance alliance complained that it had to fight not only against the Taliban but also against the Pakistani army in the Panjshir Valley. Radio Kommersant FM also sees close ties here:
“Islamabad was not only directly involved in creating the Taliban movement, it also supported it in the recent fighting. Regardless of the nuances and lack of complete control over the Taliban, there can be no doubt that Pakistan will become the main ally and protective power of the new regime in Kabul. Beijing, too, can feel it is on the safe side - not least because of its good contacts with Pakistan: the US as the main opponent has been pushed out of Afghanistan and Chinese companies now have the opportunity to mine Afghan raw materials and establish transport routes across the country.”