The Reuters news agency has been speaking to the anti-Taliban opposition in the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul. That’s just about the only area left that is not under Taliban control – although they have surrounded it.
The agency interviewed Khalid Noor, the son of a once-powerful governor of Balkh province.
He said opposition figures were grouping together to “negotiate collectively” with the Taliban – and this included veteran ethnic Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum.
Just how united such factions would be remains unclear, and Mr Noor himself said there was a “huge risk” the talks would fail.
But if that happened, he said, surrender would be “out of the question” and that history had shown any attempt to rule Afghanistan by force was “impossible”.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said talks are taking place, putting the chance of success at “60%”
Sir Laurie Bristow, Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, has arrived in the UK and the last British soldiers to leave Kabul are expected to touch down within hours.
The final flight left on Saturday, bringing to an end the UK’s 20-year military involvement in Afghanistan.
More than 15,000 people have been evacuated by the UK since 14 August, including 5,000 British nationals and their families, along with 8,000 Afghans.
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said he thought between 800 and 1,100 eligible Afghans would be left behind, along with around 100 to 150 Britons – although he said some of those were staying willingly.