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About hundred kilometers from Kabul

August 25, 2021

lies one of the safest and most peaceful places in Afghanistan, PANJSHIR VALLEY.

Afghanistan has its dark sides but there is also so much beauty to be discovered.

Panjšēr; literally Valley of the Five Lions

Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley: the last stronghold of resistance to Taliban rule

Panjshir Valley, is home to a largely ethnic Tajik population and through four decades of civil war and Taliban insurgency has been a centre of resistance.

Panjshir resisted the Soviet Invasion in the 1980s and Taliban rule during the late 1990s. In the past 20 years, it was the only province that the predominantly ethnic Pashtun Taliban seemed unable to penetrate.

The shape of resistance

Panjshir’s resistance is mobilising behind Ahmad Massoud, the 32-year-old son of the charismatic leader Ahmad Shah Massoud – dubbed the “Afghan Napoleon

Ahmad Massoud, son of late Afghan commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, unveils a picture of the murdered resistance leader in Paris, March 2021

The fate of Panjshir is consequential not only for anti-Taliban resistance forces but also for the stability and security of Afghanistan, the region and the west. If Panjshir falls to the Taliban, it makes a rollback of post-2001 gains appear inevitable, with all that implies for the people of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley: the last stronghold of resistance to Taliban rule

August 24, 2021 2.04pm SAST Kaweh Kerami, SOAS, University of London

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