The Taliban are not as strong as many believe they are, Panjshir resistance leader Ahmad Massoud has said.
In an interview with CNN, Massoud said the reason why they took over the country was the weakness of the government and the leadership of the Afghan military.
“Unfortunately, former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani purged the army of generals and officers who knew how to fight the Taliban and who had the will and motivation to fight the enemy,” Massoud said.
The leadership of the country was another problem, he said.
Ashraf Ghani lacked legitimacy, and the masses grew apart from his government in the recent years, Massoud added.
“Ghani and his national security advisor Hamdullah Mohib’s interference in the decision-making process of the Afghan military also weakened the armed forces. They are two individuals who lacked any military training or experience, yet it was they that made the final decisions on war plans,” Massoud said in the interview with CNN.
He said unfortunately, the Taliban have not changed, and they still are after dominance throughout the country.
“We are resisting dominance, intolerance, and oppression brought by one political force over the majority of the population that do not support them. The Taliban will only be accepted if they form an inclusive government with all ethnic groups in the country. Afghanistan is a country made up of ethnic minorities and no one constitutes a majority. It is a multicultural state instead of a nation-state. For this reason, they cannot be allowed to rule the country, and if they have this position, we will resist them,” Massoud said in the interview.
“If the Taliban do not make concessions and continue to believe they can dominate the country, then we will also resist. The last time they pursued dominance, they were faced with five years of resistance,” he said in the CNN interview.