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Taliban simultaneously doubles down on political efforts, war to capture north Afghanistan

Former Mujahideen hold weapons to support Afghan forces in their fight against Taliban, on the outskirts of Herat province, Afghanistan July 10, 2021. (Photo by Reuters)

Amin Alemi
Press TV, Kabul

Nowadays, the Taliban are gaining more ground in Afghanistan by increasing their attacks, especially on district centers and border areas, mainly in the northern and western parts of the country.

The Taliban captured some key border areas in northern and western provinces of Badakhshan, Kunduz, Faryab and Herat over the last week. These gains have at least added to Kremlin’s concerns.

Moscow has voiced concern over the possibility of Taliban militants spilling across the border into Tajikistan. That came after hundreds of Afghan troops fled to Tajikistan due to the Taliban’s advances in northeastern Badakhshan province earlier this week. The militants also captured the Islam Qala customs checkpoint located near the Iranian border in western Herat province.

The Taliban have stepped up their attacks across Afghanistan at a time when the group’s political wing has, ironically enough, become active as well. Two Taliban delegations travelled to Tehran and Moscow earlier this week as a show of the group’s will to find a political solution to the Afghan conflict.

This comes as war-weary Afghans widely welcome any move to bring stability to their country by any player mainly the Taliban. However, some believe that there are some secrete deals that lead Afghan troops to surrender to the Taliban and hand over areas to them. But the Afghan president strongly rejects the allegation.

In the meantime, a spokesman for the Taliban has also said that they will offer a written peace proposal to the Afghan government within a month. However many also doubt about the real intentions of the Taliban. They, for instance, argue that the Taliban’s diplomatic efforts are simply political maneuvering to restore their image among the public, who have not forgotten how difficult life was under the Taliban rule over Afghanistan before 2001.

Taliban militants have scaled up their attacks all over Afghanistan since May, but the emergence of popular forces mainly in northern Afghanistan turned things against the Taliban’s will. That is why some experts here believe the recent political moves by the Taliban are due to the pressure coming from public resistance forces against the group, forces who have in some cases liberated dozens of districts from Taliban control.

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