Ahmad Wali Massoud, a negotiator for the anti-Taliban resistance movement operating in the last province of Afghanistan not controlled by the Taliban, believes an “all-out war” is possible following failing peace talks.
AHMAD WALI MASSOUD: Well, the feeling here is high, of course, as you know, that Panjshir is the symbol of the resistance. And for the past few days, the Taliban started their attacks from different angles, from different directions. But they could not make it. They were defeated in, at least, two fronts and with a lot of casualties. So what we really proposed, we proposed a let's talk, let's talk peace.
But the way the Taliban responds, their respond is not very positive. They are somehow saying that, well, OK, we can get some people from you, and this is the emirate of Taliban. And that's it. But we said, look, this is not only for Panjshir. This is for Afghanistan.
- So you were saying to the Taliban, let's talk. We don't want it to be violent, so how does it feel now that the Taliban are using violence? What are the next steps?
AHMAD WALI MASSOUD: Well, I mean, if they continue to-- they have already used the violence. I mean, for the past few days, they have been attacked, and there have been bloodshed, of course. And if they continue to do so, I'm sure that many parts of Afghanistan will pick up, and they will start resistance as well, because they will not stay indifferent to that with the Taliban. And the next step, of course, is sort of all out war will start, unfortunately, inside Afghanistan. That's what's next, and there are ways and means. But it seems that the Taliban are not listening. They're just going their own ways.
- So are you still open to talking to them and trying to have a peaceful resolution at the moment?
AHMAD WALI MASSOUD: Of course, of course, you see, for the past one and a half years, even Ghani government wanted to talk. But the international community wanted to talk. At the end of the day, that was Taliban who really kind of came, and saw the violence, and all of that. So, of course, we want to talk. We don't want-- because Afghanistan has seen so much of fighting for the past four or five decades. That's enough.
Let's talk. Let's talk. But they don't seem to listen to that. They think that they're God given, their rights, and they can write the way they want.