An Afghan resistance group has retained a Washington lobbyist in an effort to increase U.S. support to remove the Taliban from power, according to a New York Times report.
Ahmad Massoud serves as head of the anti-Taliban National Resistance Front of Afghanistan. The group has sought help in the form of weapons and finances to battle against the Taliban in the Panjshir Valley.
The group also seeks to press the U.S. to oppose recognizing the Taliban government as the legitimate leaders of Afghanistan.
“No entity could receive legitimacy without the support, endorsement of his excellency Ahmad Massoud, because he is the source of legitimacy today,” Ali Nazary, Massoud’s U.S. representative, said, the Times reported.
Massoud signed a contract with Robert Stryk, “a K Street lobbyist who represents several foreign interests on Capitol Hill,” according to The Hill.
Stryk is a Republican lobbyist who served a growing number of clients during the Trump administration.
He intends to represent the group pro bono, according to the Times.
Last week, BBC News reported the Taliban declared victory over the Panjshir province, posting their flag as a sign of victory over the area. However, the claims have been denied by resistance fighters in the region.
“Resistance fighters however said they were still present in ‘all strategic positions’ and ‘continue to fight,'” according to the report.
“Their leader has called for a ‘national uprising’ against the Taliban,” the BBC added.
The AFP News Agency also reported the Taliban’s capture of Panjshir on Wednesday.
“Taliban fighters seize ammunition and patrol towns in Panjshir Province on September 15, just days after the hardline Islamist group announced the capture of the last province resisting to their rule,” the news agency tweeted.
Taliban fighters seize ammunition and patrol towns in Panjshir Province on September 15, just days after the hardline Islamist group announced the capture of the last province resisting to their rule
📸 Wakil Kohsar pic.twitter.com/CC8bhoTJRi
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 16, 2021
Massoud’s father was reportedly a leading mujahideen fighter named Ahmad Shah Massoud.
“His father helped push out the Soviets in the 1980s, while later leading a resistance against the Taliban after the militant group seized power in 1996,” Business Insider reported.
The resistance group will likely face a steep disadvantage against the Taliban. The U.S. military reportedly left millions of dollars worth of weapons and supplies that are now under the control of the radical group.
The U.S. military left Afghanistan on Aug. 31 following nearly two decades in the region, angering many Americans by leaving many citizens and allies behind under the Taliban’s control.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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