Anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Masoud invited to European Parliament

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KABUL: Ahmad Masoud, the leader of the Afghan resistance forces fighting the Taliban, has been invited to the European Parliament, his movement said on Wednesday.

A decision has not yet been made as to whether Masoud will accept the invite, said a spokesman for the National Resistance Front (NRF).

Following the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan in August, the son of a famous Afghan guerilla commander formed an armed resistance against the Taliban in his home in Panjshir province.

The Taliban then staged a heavy military campaign on Panjshir and captured the governor’s office and district centres, forcing Masoud’s fighters to shelter in mountains and hard-to-reach areas.

Masoud recently asked people to stage an uprising against the Taliban in whatever way possible. But since the Taliban’s capture of Panjshir, Masoud’s whereabouts are unknown.

A member of the foreign relations committee of the EU Parliament, Bart Groothuis, while speaking in an EU session on Tuesday, said that Masoud was fighting for a better future.

Groothuis said that Masoud was following in the footsteps of his father, Ahmad Shah Masoud, whom the parliament had worked with two decades ago. He had helped drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan and later fought the Taliban during their rule from 1996 to 2001.

In April 2001, Ahmad Shah Masoud, upon the invitation of the EU, visited the high-ranking members of the EU in Strasbourg, France.

He was killed by in 2001 by al-Qaeda and is seen by many as a national hero.