Why Afghanistan is facing wrath of Taliban; a brief history of dreaded extremist group - in pics
The Taliban's occupation of Afghanistan is now complete and it has sent shockwaves worldwide. Here's looking at the extremist group's history - their formation and rule in Afghanistan, and now the dreaded return!
With the fall of Kabul on August 15, Taliban officially returned to power in Afghanistan. It was like a return of a nightmare for Afghani people. The Taliban had ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, but following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the US forces launched a military campaign and toppled their rule. Here’s looking at a brief history of the Taliban - which enforced the most brutal regime in the country - and their return to power in Afghanistan.
Who are the Taliban?
The word Taliban is Pashto - the first language of an estimated 55% of Afghanistan's population, as per Unesco - and even though it can now come as a shock, the word actually means "students". Today, the same word "Taliban" refers to a dreaded Islamic outfit that is taking back control of Afghanistan. Mullah Mohammad Omar is the notorious one-eyed founder of Taliban. In September 1994, Omar in his hometown of Kandahar founded the group with 50 students.
(Pic: Reuters; representational purposes)
Post Soviet era: A period of strife
The Taliban, which ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, originally had students received education in Islamic seminaries or madrassas in Pakistan that were funded by Saudi money. After the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan in 1979, Islamic mujahideen fighters engaged in war with those Soviet forces. Some scholars like Carol Hillenbrand from Britain says Taliban have arisen from those US-Saudi-Pakistan-supported mujahideen, and the aim was the end of Soviet rule.
Taliban establish their rule
After the fall of the Soviet-backed regime of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, the country witnessed a period of unrest with rivalling groups fighting for total power over the country. The Taliban promised stability and rule of law and in 1996, the fighters captured Kabul. On September 27, 1996, they established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Mullah Omar was declared amir al-mu’minin, or “commander of the faithful.”
A period of oppression: Women, the worst victims
The Taliban imposed strict Islamic laws or Sharia in the country. Oppression of women was a hallmark of the Taliban rule. The Taliban forbid girls from being educated and they had to drop out from school. Women were only allowed to work in medical sector and men were prohibited from treating women. Women were not allowed to leave their homes without a male guardian, and were required to cover their bodies from head to toe in burqa.
Banning of music, modern education: Other atrocities of Taliban
The Taliban's bombings and other attacks which have led to huge civilian casualties. There were discrimination against Hindus and Sikhs, as well as violence against aid workers and Christians. Not only did they prevent women from getting education, modern education was barred for men too and only Islamic religious education was encouraged. The Taliban also destroyed Afghanistan's historical and cultural texts, artefacts and sculptures, thus causing cultural genocide. From sports to music, they banned all forms of recreational activities. (Pic: PTI)
Granting Shelter to Osama Bin Laden
The return of the Taliban: Afghanistan NOT a democracy
In February 2020, a historic deal was signed between Taliban and the US, and the US had planned a 14-month period to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after 20 years. As the US began withdrawing forces, the Taliban started making rapid strides, worrying the global community. On August 15, it was all over. Afghanistan fell to Taliban, which later declared the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." They emphasised that democarcy has no place in the country.
(Pic: Twitter/MoD Afghanistan)