Afghanistan's Resistance Movement Calls For 'Global Support' as It Ramps Up Attacks Against Taliban
The NRF, also known as the Second Resistance, is a military and political alliance of anti-Taliban fighters. It is currently led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of famous commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, who mobilised anti-Taliban forces in 1996.
The National Resistance Front (NRF), or the "Second Resistance", which claims to be the only force fighting against the Taliban’s* “oppression” in Afghanistan, has again called on the global community to support the ongoing resistance to “restore” democracy in the Central Asian country.
“We are aiming to free Afghanistan from terrorism and oppression with our resistance… We are growing and spreading throughout the country, especially in the northern parts”, Ali Nazary, the head of the NRF’s foreign relations department, told Sputnik.
Nazary also said that the group’s leadership was in contact with many different governments to gain support for the NRF’s political goals.
NRF fighters primarily operate from Massoud’s native Panjshir province
in Afghanistan, where they claim to remain “unoccupied” by the Taliban.
Nazary further claimed responsibility for at least five “guerrilla attacks” against Taliban fighters in the Panjshir and Baghlan provinces in the northern part of the country this week. The Taliban is believed to have suffered casualties in the attacks.
The NRF also claims to have organised itself in Kandahar province in the southern part of Afghanistan.
Protests in favour of the NRF’s leader Ahmad Shah Massoud as well as against the Taliban's "ethnic cleansing operations
" in Panjshir have taken place in Kabul and Herat since the Taliban swept to power in August this year.
28 December 2021, 14:14 GMT
However, the NRF has failed to attract any major international support and is currently only somewhat backed by Tajikistan.
President Emomali Rahmon said at the UN General Assembly
in September that it was “necessary to form a comprehensive government through elections based on the will of the people of this country with the engagement of all political groups and national and ethnic minorities”.
Last month, Massoud was in Tajikistan, his spokesperson told Russian media.
While the US Justice Department last month allowed the NRF to open a liaison office in the country for lobbying political and international organisations, the Biden administration also indicated that it won’t formally recognise it as the legitimate Afghan government, as the NRF leadership has been demanding.
There have also been calls by a section of Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Mike Waltz (Florida) urging the Biden administration to recognise the NRF as the “legitimate government representatives of Afghanistan”.
Even Russia, a former ally of Massoud's father, has warned the NRF against “provoking” the intra-Afghan conflict.
“They (NRF and allied groups) should look for ways to facilitate mutual understanding and national reconciliation, to restore a sustainable peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and around it”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said last month.
On the other hand, the NRF is staunchly opposed by Pakistan, which has been lobbying the international community to “strengthen” the new government in Afghanistan and unfreeze Kabul’s federal assets (held in US-based financial institutions) to ease the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country.
The NRF claimed in September that Pakistan
was providing ground and aerial support to the Taliban in its military operations against the NRF in Panjshir province.
*The Taliban is an organisation under UN sanctions for terrorist activities.