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Qari Fasihuddin, the conqueror of the Five Lions

He took Panjshir, Afghanistan's invincible province

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 7, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 7, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Qari Fasihuddin, popularly known as the Conqueror of the North, is the first Taliban leader in history to set foot in Bazarak, the provincial capital of Panjshir.

Qari Fasihuddin is the Deputy Commander of the Military Commission of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and played a key role in the Taliban’s occupation of the northern part of Afghanistan, and now has the honor of conquering Panjshir, Afghanistan’s only invincible province.

Qari Fasihuddin is a Tajik and hails from Badakhshan, the last province in northern Afghanistan, and is known for successful war strategy. He is considered one of the most charismatic leaders and is the first Tajik to have made it to the military commission in the history of the Taliban. It is because of him that the entire Northern Alliance was toppled despite the fact that the Haqqani network and Mullah Yaqub, Mullah Baradar and Mullah Haibatullah were from Kandahar, Helmand, Kunar and Ghazni, where they faced a lot of resistance.

After the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, former Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh fled to Panjshir, where he, along with Ahmed Massoud, son of the late jihadi commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, declared resistance to the Taliban.

Following the failure of various rounds of talks, the Taliban announced a full-scale operation last Friday to take control of Panjshir, and on Monday, the fourth day, Taliban fighters, led by Qari Fasihuddin, took control of Panjshir.

On the other hand, since yesterday, the Taliban militia had been claiming that Qari Fasihuddin had been killed in the fighting, but today the Taliban denied these reports and released a new video.

Giving Qari Fasihuddin the post of Deputy Military Commission is also being described as a change in strategy that has been in effect since the 1990s. Although the Taliban used to include non-Pakhtun, they are being given more important posts and powers than in the past.

Although there is a general perception about the Taliban, from the leadership to the grassroots, that it has a Pashtun majority and is popular only in Afghanistan’s Pakhtun-majority provinces, this time the Taliban has also influenced Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara and Turkmen nationalities. Qari Fasihuddin is one of the most important non-Pakhtun Taliban leaders.

Why is the victory being given so much importance?

Panjshir is the hometown of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud, who successfully defended his territory against the Soviet Union and later against the Taliban.

Signs of Soviet defeat still remain in Panjshir, at the foot of the snow-capped peaks of the Hindukush.

Ahmad Shah Massoud did not surrender to the Taliban even in the most difficult of circumstances, and said that he would resist as long as he had enough space left.

Ahmad Shah Massoud was killed in a bomb attack on September 9, 2001, by two Arab assailants in Panjshir.

Taliban fighters believed that they would complete their occupation of Afghanistan after the death of Ahmad Shah Massoud. However, even after the death of Massoud, it remained impenetrable.

The region consists of a complex system of rivers and streams that flow through the gorges so it serves as an excellent natural refuge during war.
The area is in the form of a fort, which has always been a difficult front for foreign invaders. But this time, the anti-Taliban militia had no outside help and the valley was surrounded by Taliban fighters on all sides.

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