Afghanistan’s opposition group rejects call to `re-engage’ with the Taliban

The National Resistance Council for the Salvation of Afghanistan [NRCSA]  opposes the Taliban regime criticises as `unrealistic and misguided a recent assessment of life under the Taliban given by Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP and chair of the House of Commons Defence Select committee. After visiting southern Afghanistan, the powerbase of the Taliban regime that took control of the country in August 2021, Mr Ellwood this week published a video, remarks on Twitter and an opinion piece in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Mr Ellwood said the Taliban was providing security and economic opportunity, and it was his view that the outside world should re-engage with the regime, for example by reopening the British Embassy in Kabul, closed since the current regime came to power. `We hold Mr Ellwood in the highest regard but in our view his assessment of the current situation in Afghanistan does not give the real picture of the nation – how can you if you spend a day or two in one province and a short time in the capital?’ said Khalid Noor, who represented the Republic of Afghanistan in the ultimately failed peace talks with the Taliban prior to the 2021 regime change.

`To conclude all of Afghanistan is safe and prosperous from a visit to the part of the country where the Taliban was born, where it enjoys its greatest public support, is as mistaken as saying Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a success after speaking to loyalists around his birthplace in Tikrit. `For example, Mr Ellwood judged the Taliban as stopping the export of opium because he witnessed a curated event at a former opium farm where the crop had been destroyed. What about the opium pipeline from southern Afghanistan across the border into Pakistan, via the provincial capital of Quetta and the port city of Karachi? There is no evidence that pipeline has been switched off or even reduced.’

Lt Col Stuart Crawford is a defence analyst and former army officer. Sign up for his podcasts and newsletters at



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