Taliban Rise In Afghanistan: What Is Next To Experience Now?

Taliban Rise In Afghanistan: What Is Next To Experience Now?

Following the two decades of war after the Taliban rise in Afghanistan, the Taliban seems to have had its victory over Afghanistan. The notorious group has completed their rapid advancement across the country by capturing Kabul on the 15th of August, 2021. This was followed by the foreign forces that had announced their withdrawal after a treaty was signed between the U.S. and the Taliban group, just 20 years after the US forces had removed the militants from the power in 2001. The conflict has a massive negative impact on the country where tens of thousand people have been killed brutally and million residents have been displaced. 

The powerful Taliban forces have pledged the dis-allowance of Afghanistan to become a base for the terrorist group having the power to threaten the West. However, questions have already been put forward regarding the group’s governance in the country and what their rule would be for women, political freedom and human rights.

Who Are Talibans?

The Talibans are a group of people who belong to the group “Taliban” in Southern Afghanistan by Mullah Mohammad Omar. The latter was a member of the Pashtun tribe who became a mujahedeen commander pushing the Soviets out of the country in 1989. In 1994. Mullah Omar created the group in Kandahar with around 50 followers who came forward to challenge the instability, crime and corruption that the Afghans were fighting during the post-Soviet-era civil war. The term “Taliban” means “students” and is a reference to the founding members studying under Mullah Omar.

taliban-leadership-structure

Credit: BBC

The US Fought A War in Afghanistan That Lasted Long

It was in 2001 that the US was responding to the famous and brutal 9/11 attack on Washington and New York, where nearly 3000 people had been killed. The officials were successful in identifying the Islamist militant group named “Al-Qaeda” and hold its leader Osama Bin Laden responsible. The islamists had been in power since 1996 and Bin Laden was in Afghanistan, hiding under the protection of Taliban. When the group refused to hand him over, the US intervened with the help of the military and quickly removed the Taliban. They vowed support to democracy and eliminated the terrorist threat. However, the militants slipped away but later regrouped. 

In 2004, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies had joined the US and a new government in Afghanistan took over. Unfortunately, Taliban rise in Afghanistan went severe and the deadly Taliban attacks still continued. In 2009, President Barack Obama conducted a “troop surge” that helped in pushing back the Taliban temporarily. In the midst of the Taliban attacks for years since 2001, the year 2014 marked as the bloodiest year. The international forces of NATO had ceased their combat mission while leaving the responsibility over the Afghan army for security. This was the golden opportunity for the Talibans wherein they gained momentum and seized even more territory. 

The peace talks between the Taliban and US began tentatively. The Afghan government remained mostly uninvolved. In February 2020, an agreement on withdrawal came in Qatar. However, the deal between the US and the Talibans failed to cease the Taliban attacks. In  contrast, their focus shifted to assassinations from Afghan security forces and civilians.  They enjoyed their growth in the areas of control.

Taliban Rise In Afghanistan & Two Decades Of Afghan Conflict: An Overview

Following the 9/11, there have been intense fights on the ground and currently they grew massively to the complete withdrawal of the US led forces. Here is an overview of what happened when.

Date
Event
Details
11th September, 2001
9/11 Attack
Osama Bin Laden led Al-Qaeda carried out the largest terror attack in the history of the U.S. Four commercial airliners had been hijacked. Two of them had been flown into the World Trade Centre in New York. One airliner hit the Pentagon building in Washington and the other crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Almost 3000 people were killed.
7th October, 2001
First Air Strikes
The Taliban rise in Afghanistan became prominent. Afghanistan faced US-led coalition bombs with Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The attack targeted Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad. The Talibans refused to hand over Bin Laden. The air defences as well as the smaller fighter aircrafts were destroyed.
13th November, 2001
Decline Of Kabul
The Taliban fled the city. A troupe of anti-taliban rebels backed by the coalition forces takes entry in Kabul.
26th January, 2004
Introduction Of New Constitution
Following protracted negotiations at the grand assembly or “loya jirga”, the new Afghan constitution had been signed into law. This paved the way for the Presidential elections in October 2004.
7th December, 2004
New President Elected
Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe who led the anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar earlier was appointed as the first president under the new constitution. He had served two 5 year terms of presidency.
May, 2006
British Troops Deployed To Helmand Province
The initial mission was to support the reconstruction projects but shifted to the combat operations. Over 450 British troops lost their lives in Afghanistan during the conflict.
17th February, 2009
Surge of Barack Obama
The US President approved a significant increase in the number of the troops that were sent to Afghanistan. They numbered around 140,000 at their peak. The surge modelled on the US strategy in Iraq where the US forces focussed on Shielding the civilians and assassinating the insurgent fighters.
2nd May, 2011
Bin Laden Killed
US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan killed the leader of Al-Qaeda. The body was removed and buried at sea. The operation ended a decade of hunting by the CIA.
23rd April, 2013
Mullah Omar’s Death
As per the Afghan intelligence, the founder of Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar died of health problems at a Karachi hospital in Pakistan. However, Pakistan denied the presence of the Taliban founder in Pakistan.
28th December, 2014
NATO Ceased Combat Operations
NATO stopped its combat operations in Afghanistan at a ceremony in Kabul. The U.S. withdrew thousands of troops mostly who focussed on the training and supporting the security forces in Afghanistan.
2015
Taliban’s Comeback
The taliban had launched a series of suicide attacks followed the car bombings and other assaults. They attacked the city of Kunduz and the parliament building in Kabul. The Islamic state militants began their operations in Afghanistan.
25th January, 2019
Announcement Of Death Toll
Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President stated that over 45,000 members of the security forces of the country had been killed since 2014.
29th February, 2020
US -Taliban Treaty
The Taliban and the US signed an agreement to bring peace in Afghanistan, Qatar and Doha. The NATO and US allies agreed to withdraw all the troops in 14 months if the militants advocate the deal.
13th April, 2021
Final Withdrawal Announcement
The US president Joe Biden had announced that all the US troops will leave Afghanistan by the 11th of September, 2021.
16th August, 2021
Taliban Regains Power
The Talibans swept across Afghanistan. They took control over the country including Kabul. The Afghan security forces collapsed.

How Are Talibans Planning To Govern Afghanistan?

It remained unclear on how the Taliban had planned to govern the country. Women face a very uncertain future with the Taliban rise in Afghanistan and their rule.  In this context, the Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen mentioned that the Taliban group will respect the women rights and the rights of the minorities as per the Afghan norms and the Islamic values. In the last week, the militants had declared an amnesty across the country and stated that they wanted women to join its government. However, women’s freedom to work, to wear dresses they choose or even leave their homes to join the government is still under question under Taliban rule. 

Fear is not restricted to this. There are chances that Afghanistan will again be the land for terrorism. The Taliban officials insisted that they will entirely adhere to the US deal and prevent any of the groups from using Afghanistan as a base for the attacks against US and its allies. They further claim that they solely focus on implementing an “Islamic Government” and will not be a threat to any other countries. However, many analysts have stated that “Taliban and Al-Qaeda are inseparable”. 

Taliban Rise In Afghanistan & Practice Of Sharia Law

The Taliban highly practice the Sharia law and stated that the Afghan women will enjoy their rights under the Sharia law. This is not the first time that the Sharia law has been imposed on women in Afghanistan. But this time, the law Talibans are practising is much more rigid. 

What is Sharia Law? Well, Sharia law also known as the Islamic law is the Arabic term for “the way” or “the law”. The origins of the law in Islam are from the four sources viz, the Quran, Hadis (words and text records of Prophet Muhammad), the Sunnah, Ijma (the consensus of jurists) and Qiyas (the reasonable interpretation of the Quran and the Sunnah). The impact of Sharia has seen a different turn with the rise of the modern era, the concept of separation of the state and religion. 

The Sharia law segregates the criminal law into few categories such as:

  • HUDUD (Limits): Includes the offences that are entirely banned in Islam. On not following them, cvan invite several brutal punishments such as stoning, execution, whipping or cutting off limbs. The banned offences include – drinking alcohol, highway robbery, zina (unlawful sexual intercourse like fornication), unfounded accusations relating to zina and various other forms of theft. 
  • QISAS (Retaliatory Punishments): This refers to the death penalty for murder. Qisas is based on the decision of the victim or their heirs. The individuals entitled to qisas can also have the option of receiving the monetary compensation or diyya or even grant a pardon to the perpetrator.
  • TAZIR: The punishment of the offences is at the discretion of the judge. The Sharia does not impose any specific punishment. The disobedience of Sharia that does not fall in the previous two categories is a part of Tazir.

What Does Sharia Law Mean For Women?

The Sharia law is in rigid practice after the return of Talibans in Afghanistan. However, the Talibans have their own interpretation of the Sharia Law. So, no justice for women? Here are a couple of laws imposed on the women in Afghanistan by the Talibans:

  • Going Out In Public: The Afghanistan women can go out in public but it is conditional. According to the Taliban rule, the woman wishing to go out in public needs to be accompanied by a male family member (either adult or child). 
  • Hanging Out With Friends: Women are not allowed to hang out with friends outside home. They have been kept under effective house arrest.
  • Meeting Male Friends: Women are prohibited from interacting with boys over 12 or men who are not a family member. 
  • Receiving Education: The women are not permitted to receive their education from a regular school, college or madrassah where boys and men study. 
  • Application Of Makeup: In the previous rule itself, the Talibans had banned the use of makeup as well as nail polish by women.
  • Playing Music & Dance: Sharia Law discourages music and considers it illegal. The Talibans had punished people who played music or even danced on tunes at the parties. 
  • Women Working In Offices: Talibans stated that the women in Afghanistan would be permitted to work. However, reports state that employees of public offices and banks had been escorted by the Talibans on their way home. They were instructed that their male family members should be replaced at their workplace. 
  • Wearing Burqa: Wearing burqa by women is made mandatory. Display of beauty is strictly restricted under the Sharia Law. The Taliban has stipulated that the girls above age 8 must wear burqa and be accompanied by the male members of the family. The rule is applicable when they interact with any outsider at their homes. 
  • Speech: In the previous Taliban regime, they had prescribed that women must speak in a low voice and must not be audible to a stranger either in public or in a gathering of women. 
  • Wearing High Heels: Talibans had banned women wearing high heels. They stipulated that women must walk in such a manner that their footsteps must not be audible to any man. 
  • Sitting On Balconies: The Taliban rule instructs women to be prohibited from sitting on the balconies of thor houses. 
  • Filming Or Modelling: Women are banned from filming or displaying their images anywhere in public including books, newspapers or posters under the Taliban rule. 
  • Breaking Sharia Law: The Talibans carry out typical punishments for violating the Sharia law. In the previous rule, women were sentenced to public humiliation, stoning to death and flogging or lashing for various crimes under the Sharia law. 

In an earlier situation prior to this time’s Taliban rise in Afghanistan, it has been seen that one girl had her nose and ears severed and left to die after she ran away from an arranged marriage. Another woman’s tip of thumb had been brutally chopped off for wearing nail polish. 

Forced marriages have been a part of the Taliban rule on Afghanistan women, The Taliban’s cultural commission has issued a statement a couple of days before that had called for the religious leaders to offer the group with a list of girls of age of 15 years and widows under the age of 45 years to get married to the Taliban fighters. This has been reported by a famous news outlet. Associate Professor Narain mentions that offering wives to the Taliban fighters is a strategy that has been aimed at luring the militants to join the Taliban group. However, the union is a mode of sexual enslavement. She further mentions,

“Forcing women into sexual slavery under the guise of marriage is both a war crime and a crime against humanity.”

Press reports state that the girls in the Takhar province in the earlier week had been stopped and lashed for wearing “revealing sandals.”

Independent Afghan analyst Ahmed-Waleed Kakar said:

“The Taliban can best be understood as ‘classical’ in interpretation, or veering more toward scholars seen as orthodox, such as those from the Indian subcontinent and Middle East.”

taliban-control-in-afghanistan

Casualties After The Talibans Came Into Force The Second Time

With the Taliban terror spreading all over Afghanistan, people are trying to flee from Afghanistan. They are going to their extremes and have gathered in the Kabul International airport. The British military has acknowledged that at least seven Afghans died in a panicked crush situation or people at the airport. Others might have been suffocated, trampled, or even suffered heart attacks when the Taliban fighters fired in the open air in order to drive back the crowds. The soldiers have covered several corpses in plain white clothing. 

Kabul’s airport has been under days of chaos following the Taliban entrance in the capital on 15th of August, 2021. Thousands of people have poured into the tarmac in the past week. Several Afghanistan have plunged to their deaths as they cling to a U.S military cargo as it took off on 16th of August this year.

Dawa Khan Menapal, the director of Afghanistan’s media and information centre had been assassinated in Kabul by the Taliban militants after the Taliban rise in Afghanistan. The Taliban stated that he had been punished for his deeds. This took place days after the Talibans warned that they would target the senior administration officials in retaliation for the increased air strikes. 

The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the death. The spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid sent a message to the media stating that he was killed in a special attack by Mujahideen. 

"Unfortunately, the savage terrorists have committed a cowardly act once again and martyred a patriotic Afghan."

- Mirwais Stanikzai, interior ministry spokesman

US Charge d’Affaires to Afghanistan Ross Wilson tweeted that he was “saddened and disgusted” by the killing, adding:

"These murders are an affront to Afghans' human rights and freedom of speech."

“The situation at Kabul airport remains extremely challenging and unpredictable,” a NATO official revealed anonymously in keeping with the regulations. The official was unable to confirm the exact number of casualties.

Credit: Global News

What Is The Current Situation After The Taliban Rise In Afghanistan?

The former president of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani had fled from the country with the clothes he had on. A senior official had mentioned that the ex-president was dumbfounded by the rapid spread of the Talibans in the capital city of Kabul. Hours before the “flee in exile”, the official mentioned that a senior member of the Ghani administration saw an individual with ties to the Al-Qaeda and Taliban who informed that the ruling government was required to surrender.

"In the days leading up to the Taliban coming to Kabul, we had been working on a deal with the US to hand over peacefully to an inclusive government and for President Ghani to resign," the former official said.

"These talks were underway when the Taliban came into the city. The Taliban entering Kabul city from multiple points was interpreted by our intelligence as hostile advances. We had received intelligence for over a year that the President would be killed in the event of a takeover."

As the situation with Taliban rise in Afghanistan deteriorates, several nations have forced their evacuation efforts. Most likely, India is going to bring back over 300 Indian nationals back from Kabul on Sunday. This is a part of the evacuation mission that is currently running in Afghanistan. Approximately 87 Indians have been evacuated by the Indian Air Force’s military transport aircraft. From the Kabul airport, they had been taken to the Tajikistan capital Dushanbe. The group is expected to reach Delhi by a special flight from Air India on Sunday.

“Bringing Indians home from Afghanistan! AI 1956 carrying 87 Indians departs from Tajikistan for New Delhi. 2 Nepalese nationals also evacuated. Assisted and supported by our Embassy @IndEmbDushanbe. More evacuation flights to follow,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

The Qatar-based Indian embassy stated that 135 Indians who had been evacuated from Kabul to Doha in the past few days have also been sent to India.

The US president Joe Biden will virtually meet the G7 leaders of the countries on the 24th of August for discussing the close coordination on Afghan policy and the other vulnerable Afghans. They will also discuss the plans to provide humanitarian assistance for the Afghan refugees. 

On 23rd August, a man from the Jorabat area of Guwahati, Assam had been arrested in Assam for his alleged support on social media to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.The total number of such apprehensions in the state counted 16. A senior police officer said,

“The man, who worked in a tyre shop in the Jorabat area of Guwahati, was arrested for his Facebook post in support of the Taliban. Fifteen people, including an Assam Police constable, a senior leader of the state unit of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a medical student and a journalist, were arrested from various districts on August 20 and 21 for their social media posts supporting the extremist group's takeover of Afghanistan.”

Russia is ready to supply weapons, ammunition and military hardware to its allies in the CSTO security bloc in the Afghanistan border. The supplies will be provided at a special low price, as quoted by the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.

According to a new channel, a Taliban spokesperson has warned of “consequences” in case the Afghan pull-out date extends beyond 31st August.

The son of Ahmad Shah Massoud (one of the main leaders of Afghanistan’s anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s as well as assassinated on 9th September, 2001), Ahmad Massoud seems to have been following in the footsteps of his father. He is gathering mujahideen fighters in the Panjshir Valley. They are prepared once again to take on the Talibans.

The U.S. military has already pulled off the biggest day of evacuation flights out from Pakistan. However, deadly violence has successfully blocked several desperate evacuees from entering the airport of Kabul. The Talibans have signalled that they might soon shut down the airlifts.

“Twenty-eight U.S. military flights ferried about 10,400 people to safety out of Taliban-held Afghanistan over 24 hours that ended early Monday morning, and 15 C-17 flights over the next 12 hours brought out another 6,660,” White House officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mission Kabul” had entered its climax phase with two more evacuation flights landing from Afghanistan. The total number of Indians evacuated from Afghanistan is over 700. Already six flights (a mix of Air India and Indian Air Force) have completed their evacuation missions starting on the 16th of August, 2021.

The Taliban rise in Afghanistan and how far this would go is still uncertain. Kabul refugees stuck in India refuse to return to their birthplace. The situation is worsening with each passing day while the notorious terrorist group continues to enjoy Afghan’s captivity.

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Nihal Rajapaksha

The sole reason for your entertainment is none other than Nihal Rajapaksha. He has been into this sector of journalism for the last 15 years and is continuing to be so.

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