The Taliban said their forces entered Panjshir province from various directions on Saturday without facing any resistance.
“No fighting occurred, but the mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan advanced from various directions without facing any resistance. The Islamic Emirate forces have entered Panjshir from different directions,” said Anaamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission.
Samangani, however, said the door is still open for negotiations and on Saturday a delegation of Ahmad Massoud met with a Taliban delegation in Kabul.
Massoud’s supporters, however, rejected the claims of a Taliban advance toward Panjshir and say no one has entered the province.
“There is no fight in Panjshir and no one has entered the province,” said Mohammad Almas Zahid, head of the Resistance Front delegation.
The first round of talks between the Taliban and Massoud delegations was held on August 25, during which the two sides agreed to not attack each other until the second round of talks.
Zahid said that the second round of talks will be held in two days but warned of consequences if the talks fail.
“The failure of negotiations will have heavy consequences for both sides because war will pave the way for foreign intervention, and intervention will prolong the war,” Zahid said.
Meanwhile, two American senators have said that Panjshir should be recognized as a secure zone and some of the leaders of the Resistance Front should be recognized by the United States and others.
Kabul residents, however, call for peace between the Taliban and Massoud supporters.
Reports indicate that the road leading to Panjshir has been blocked by the Taliban in the Gulbahar-Jabal Saraj area. The Taliban has yet to comment on this.