Afghanistan’s acting president Amrullah Saleh has written to the United Nations on the humanitarian crisis in Panjshir — the last Afghanistan bastion protected from the Taliban — asking national and international aid agencies to immediately mobilise their resources to end the “war crimes” committed by the hardliners.
Panjshir is witnessing an intense battle between the Taliban and resistance forces. At least 17 people were killed and 41 injured during celebratory firing by the Taliban in Kabul on Friday to celebrate gains on the battlefield in Panjshir province, which still remains under the control of anti-Taliban fighters.
In a letter to UN, Saleh said: “Around 2,50,000 people, including local women, children, elderly and 10,000 IDPs who arrived in Panjshir after the fall of Kabul and other large cities are stuck inside these Valleys and suffering from the consequences of this inhuman blocked (sic). If no attention is paid to this situation, a full scale human rights and humanitarian catastrophe including starvation and mass killing, even genocide of these people are in the making.”
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Asking for help from the international community, Saleh said “two decades of conflicts, recurrent natural disasters, disease outbreaks and Covid-19 pandemic and recent takeover of most of the country by Taliban has plunged the country into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. We call on the United Nations and the international community to do its utmost to prevent Taliban’s onslaught into Panjshir province.”
Sources from the resistance headquarters have told CNN-News18 that all support in terms of food supplies are cut and Taliban are also stopping all medical aid to the emergency services of the hospital.
Amid reports that the region had fallen to Taliban, Saleh had earlier told CNN-News18 that he was in the Valley and had not fled the country as reported. “There are some media reports being circulated around that I have fled my country. This is absolutely baseless. This is my voice, I am calling you from the Panjshir valley, from my base. I am with our commanders and our political leaders," said Saleh.
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Talking about the attack from the Taliban, Saleh said: “We are managing the situation. Of course, it’s a difficult situation, We are under the invasion of the Taliban and Pakistanis and Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. We have held the ground, we have not lost territory."
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