Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Iran corners Pak for Panjshir: Pak’s intervention ‘under examination’

Iran on Monday said it is examining the intervention of Pakistan in Panjshir attacks and said that direct and indirect intervention will only result in the defeat of the aggressors. Tehran has condemned last night’s attacks in Panjshir valley in Afghanistan, and said that the siege by the Taliban is “unacceptable in terms of international law and humanitarian law”.

“The intervention of Pakistan in the Panjshir attacks is currently under examination. Iran considers inter-Afghan talks as the only solution to the Afghanistan problem,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said. “I strongly warn that all red lines and obligations under international law must be observed. Iran is closely following developments in Afghanistan, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a regular news briefing.

Thousands of Taliban fighters overran eight districts of Panjshir overnight, according to witnesses from the area who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety, Tehran Times reported. As per reports, Pakistan helped the Taliban in its fight against the Resistance Force in Panjshir.

Khatibzadeh said reports from Panjshir are “worrying”. He added the attack on the province is strongly condemned.

After the fall of Kabul on August 15, Panjshir province remained the only defiant holdout where resistance forces led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of late former Afghan guerrilla commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, were fighting the Taliban. The geography has witnessed heavy conflict between the warring sides in the past four days and both parties are claiming to have inflicted heavy casualties.

Panjshir was the last Afghan province holding out against the armed group that swept to power last month. Taliban has been facing stiff resistance after pushing deep into the country’s holdout in Panjshir Valley. Panjshir resistance spokesperson Fahim Dashti was reported dead in a clash with the Taliban on Sunday.

He was also the nephew of Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official of the former government who is involved in negotiations with the Taliban on the future of Afghanistan. Khatibzadeh said the “martyrdom” of Afghan leaders is a “source of regret”.”No side must allow that this course lead to fratricide,” he said, adding that the Taliban should abide by international law.

He went on to say that “starving” the people of Panjshir and “cutting their water and electricity is a cause of concern and regret.”

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