Ahmad Massoud*
National Resistance Front
Speaker at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2023

Talks at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2023

Ahmad Massoud is the leader of the National Resistance Front (NRF) of Afghanistan. Mr. Massoud, the son of the late anti-soviet and revolutionary commander, Ahmad Shah Massoud, was born in July 1989 in Piyu, a small village in the Province of Takhar in Northeast Afghanistan. Ahmad's family moved frequently, primarily due to his father's work, so his childhood saw him constantly move locations of residence. After the assassination of his father in 2001, Ahmad and his family settled in Iran where he finished high school before moving to England to complete his higher education. Ahmad received his bachelor’s degree in War Studies from Kings College London and his master’s degree in International Politics from City, University of London.

After completing his education, Ahmad returned to Afghanistan in the pursuit of both understanding the plight of the Afghan people as well as helping them in whatever way he could. Upon his return, Ahmad became the CEO of Massoud Foundation- a nonprofit organization that provided funds to libraries and scholarships to top students across Afghanistan.

In 2019, Ahmad officially entered politics and started his political movement with his father’s followers declaring him as the successor of the late Ahmad Shah Massoud. He continued expanding his movement and frequently appeared in the media discussing his vision for the future of the country. He advocated for his father's Swiss model of governance emphasizing the importance of decentralization and de-concentration of power in bringing long lasting peace and prosperity. Following the Taliban's takeover on August 15, 2021, Ahmad created the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan to fight for liberty and freedom. The NRF is predominantly made up of former Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) who have declared their allegiance to Ahmad Massoud.

The NRF exercises de facto control over the Panjshir Valley, which is largely contiguous with Panjshir Province and, as of August 2021, is "the only region out of the Taliban's hands." It is also the only prominent anti-Taliban insurgency claiming to have over a few thousand armed fighters. According to NRF's strategy, the resistance fights for a democratic, decentralized Afghanistan where all citizens enjoy equal rights regardless of their ethnicity, and gender.