PM calls meet on Afghanistan as plot thickens in Panjshir

Prime Minister Modi is meeting Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, reportedly to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan

The Taliban on Monday claimed to have captured Panjshir Valley, the last holdout of the anti-Taliban resistance forces. Representative photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently meeting Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

The meeting comes hours after the Taliban claimed to have captured Panjshir Valley, the last holdout of the anti-Taliban resistance forces.

“With this victory, our country is completely taken out of the quagmire of war,” Taliban’s chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told the press on Monday.

The Afghan National Resistance Front, however, rebutted the claim by stating that they still have control over strategic locations in Panjshir and that the fight with the Taliban is still not over.

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“The road in the Panjshir Valley is with the Taliban. However, fighting continues in the sub-valleys,” NDTV quoted resistance fighters as saying.

In an audio message released later in the day, Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the resistance movement in Panjshir called for a “national uprising” to fight the Taliban.

Also read: ‘Fight not over’, says resistance army as Taliban ‘captures’ Panjshir

“Wherever you are, inside or outside, I call on you to begin a national uprising for the dignity, freedom and prosperity of our country,” he said.

At a time when India’s stand in Afghanistan is being widely debated and anticipated, Modi has constituted a high-level committee to look after the immediate concern of India in Afghanistan. The group reportedly includes Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, Doval and other senior officers.

India on August 31 admitted that its envoy Deepak Mittal recently held talks with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of Taliban’s Political Office in Qatar. The statement said that the discussion primarily dwelt on evacuating stranded Indians in Afghanistan and to ensure that Afghan soil is not used to spread terrorism in India.

The evacuations which had begun on war footing after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, stopped after the multiple bombings near the Kabul airport and the end of deadline for the US to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

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