The Pandjir Valley was the last hope for many Afghans; the myth of resistance has always lived here. Now it has fallen to the Taliban. A visit to Geneva, where the diaspora are preparing to continue fighting.
Tomas Avenarius and Tobias Matern, Geneva
Well, the laws of war are brutal, anything may be allowed, at least the stronger one. But this is monstrous, it must almost seem like the greatest possible insult to the residents. A handful of Taliban stand in front of the governor’s palace in the Punjir Valley, casually holding their rifles and laughing. On the facade behind them you can see a mosaic, it shows Ahmed Shah Massud: the face of a bird of prey, the felt cap on the back of the head, the Che Guevara of Afghanistan. The icon. The man who kept all enemies out of the Pandjir Valley for decades. First the Soviets, then the Taliban. But now they are here, the Taliban, and hoist their white flag in the valley of the invincible.