Taliban fighters seek Russia's help to mediate with pro-government holdout
The Panjshir Valley, a stronghold of the Northern Alliance militias that were allied with the US during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, is the only area that hasn't fallen to the Taliban
Moscow: The Russian ambassador in Kabul says the Taliban have asked his embassy to convey their offer of a deal to a remaining pro-government holdout in northern Afghanistan.
Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov said a senior member of the Taliban's political leadership has asked Russia to tell fighters in the Panjshir Valley that the Taliban hope to reach a political agreement to settle the situation there.
The diplomat says the Taliban claim they don't want bloodshed in the region.
The Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, a stronghold of the Northern Alliance militias that were allied with the US during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, is the only area that hasn't fallen to the Taliban.
Afghan government figures who have sought refuge there as Kabul and the rest of the country fell to the Taliban include vice president Amrullah Saleh, who asserted on Twitter that he's now the country's rightful president, after President Ashraf Ghani fled to the United Arab Emirates.
Moscow, which fought a 10-year war in Afghanistan that ended with the Soviet troops' withdrawal in 1989, has made a diplomatic comeback as a mediator during the past years, reaching out to various Afghan factions, including the Taliban.
The evacuated Afghan Sikh refugees thanked the government of India and PM Modi for providing fast e-visas and safely evacuating them
The UN said it is increasingly concerned that the policy, together with other restrictions on basic freedoms, will contribute to a deepening of the country's economic crisis in the form of greater insecurity, poverty and isolation
The economy ministry said in a statement that the move would help ensure continued energy supplies and was initially due to last for six months