“No entity could receive legitimacy without the support, the endorsement of His Excellency Ahmad Massoud, because he is today the source of legitimacy,” said Ali Nazary, who represents Mr. Massoud in the United States.
Mr. Massoud, the 32-year-old son of a legendary Mujahedin commander who led the fight against repeated Soviet offensives in the 1980s, leads the resistance to the Taliban from the same valley from which his father was operating.
But the struggle faces long chances, with resistance fighters surrounded by the Taliban and armed with dwindling supplies and without visible outside support. While Mr. Massoud sought to position himself as the leader of the anti-Taliban battle, Amrullah Saleh, who was the vice president of the overthrown government and is a former head of the National Security Directorate and a former associate Elder Massoud, proclaimed himself the legitimate president of Afghanistan last month.
Mr. Nazary said that “we call on the United States to provide material support to our efforts, which would include the shipment of offensive weapons,” and also not to recognize the Taliban.
Understanding the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan
Who are the Taliban? The Taliban emerged in 1994 amid unrest following the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, including flogging, amputations and mass executions, to enforce their rules. Here’s more on their origin story and their record as leaders.
Mr Nazary, who was involved in arranging the contract with Mr Stryk, said they chose him because he was not part of the “establishment in Washington,” which Mr Nazary accused for appeasing the Taliban. He added that Mr. Stryk “really believes in us and the Afghan people, no matter how it affects their reputation.”
Although Mr Stryk worked with Democratic lobbyists during the Biden administration, the extent of his ties to President Biden’s national security apparatus is unclear, nor what he specifically intends to do. do to gain the support of Mr. Massoud.
Mr Stryk has represented a range of clients facing serious legal and public relations issues, including Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of the former Angolan president, accused of embezzling millions of dollars from an oil company. State she once ruled. And he had represented the government of former Congolese President Joseph Kabila, which had faced US sanctions for human rights violations and corruption, as well as the administration of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, which the United States United consider it illegitimate, and a witness in the Russia Inquiry who pleaded guilty last year to possession of child pornography and sex trafficking of a minor.