«The West has forgotten Afghanistan, this risks creating a return of global Islamic terrorism together with the explosion of a devastating migratory bomb. We share the cause of Ukraine and, like them, we feel we are a bastion of democracy and freedom in Asia, which is why Italy, Europe and the United States cannot deny us their support ». It is the appeal of Ali Maisam Nazary, right arm of Ahmad Massoud, the son of the Lion of Panjshir who fought against the Soviets and the Taliban killed by Al Qaeda terrorists a few hours before the attacks on America on September 11, 2001. Speak to La Stampa during his visit to Italy to raise public awareness of the (forgotten) cause of the Afghan people.
Commander, what is the situation on the ground?
“Since the spring offensive began at the beginning of May, our National Resistance Front has registered important successes. The Taliban are tested by the fighting, especially in some areas of Afghanistan, there have been defections, some militiamen have decided to join our cause. A few weeks ago we captured several districts in the province of Baghlan, we shot down one of the (American) helicopters that had ended up in the hands of the Taliban. In the last two months the fundamentalists have lost forty commanders in the fighting along with about a thousand guerrillas. The North is back from being a problem for the Taliban ».
Yet in the eyes of the West, resistance seemed to be on the ropes …
«Between the end of this year and the beginning of the next, we will begin to free large portions of the territory. What is important to say, however, is that our Resistance Front, without the support of any nation and without the sending of weapons by any government, was not only able to preserve itself, but also to strengthen and resume important portions of the territory. In spite of the wrong calculations of several countries which, not only gave us for dead, but were convinced that the only resistance of the Taliban would have been that of the Islamic State ”.
Does all this have to do with your visit to Italy?
“Exactly. It is my first mission in your country, I came here with the aim of updating the government and your political representatives on the current situation in the country, of making it known that democratic Afghanistan resists and records important results in the fight against oppressors. . And this is important because the media no longer deal with our country and the world seems to have forgotten Afghanistan, also because of the war in Ukraine. I have been to many European capitals and I went to the United States, we want to bring attention back to our country and to what Massoud is doing to continue the struggle of democracy against fundamentalist oppressors ».
What response did you get from Washington?
“President Joe Biden has practically ignored us, the White House hasn’t received us, but there has been interest from some members of Congress, a lot. Biden’s behavior, however, actually shows a total lack of interest on his part in Afghanistan ”.
How did it go in Italy?
“We met some politicians, some parliamentarians but no members of the government. There was some interest from some of them. We hope that the next executive will show due sensitivity on a subject that also affects your country, Europe and the West in general ».
Speaking of Europe, what was your impression?
“There is an interest but it is very limited, especially in the face of Ukraine. What I have tried to make people understand is that the Taliban are not only a problem for Afghanistan, they are trying to transform the humanitarian crisis, which has also been greatly aggravated by the recent earthquake, into a migratory bomb that will hit the West. They are facilitating the creation of sanctuaries of terrorism because they are unable to contain some formations and therefore tend to create alliances, with considerable international projections. Jihadists are pouring in from different countries linked to Al Qaeda and Isis, they are setting up training camps and have access to the same weapons that have been left by the Americans. The international terrorism brewing in Afghanistan is growing stronger than it was in 2001. The international community must tackle this problem now rather than think about it when it has become much larger and more complicated. Massoud’s fighters are the last democratic bastion in a country that has once again become a hellish circle of extremism and terrorism. With the risk of creating a global catastrophe ».
What are you asking of the international community?
“Support. The national resistance front is alive and fighting for you too, our soldiers and special forces are engaged every day on the ground, we have not escaped, we are in our country, we need the support of the international community to continue our war against the terrorism, against the Taliban, against Al Qaeda and Isis, we need weapons, ammunition, assistance. Remember these words, the terrorism that is brewing in our country is worse than that of Afghanistan in 2001 and of Syria and Iraq at the beginning of the last decade. Islamic extremists feel strong because they believe they have defeated NATO in Afghanistan, and the Taliban, who are divided into even more radical factions, support this cause. Only a few weeks ago, the Taliban supreme leader said that the fight against the infidels will continue, that the jihad will continue until the end of days ».
What effect has the war in Ukraine had in all this?
“He diverted attention obviously, it is understandable because it is a war that tears the heart of Europe apart. Afghanistan is ignored, the media have completely forgotten about it, and this poses a huge problem for the future. The two wars, however, are not so far from each other and from you, between us and the Ukrainians there are similarities, as they too are fighting on the front of the defense of the free world, we fight for democracies, for freedom, for justice. This is why we fully understand and share their war. We are also convinced that the behavior of the US and its allies in Afghanistan made the West lose credibility and facilitated what happened, the invasion of Russia. But in reality our cause and their cause is exactly the same ».