Context:

Ex-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said after fleeing the country that the Taliban had won, as the militants entered Kabul – nearly 20 years after they were ousted from power by a US-led invasion.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India’s Neighbors, Important Developments in International Politics affecting India’s Interests, Foreign Policies and Agreements affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan
  2. Who are the Taliban?
  3. What is the Taliban’s ideology?
  4. Impact of Taliban’s Victory

About Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan

  • President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan and has sought asylum in Tajikistan.
  • This marks the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking the country.
  • Taliban said that it would announce the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace.
  • Afghanistan was called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the Taliban government that was ousted by the U.S.-led forces after the 9/11 attacks.

Who are the Taliban?

Origins

  • The Taliban, which means “students” in the Pashto language, emerged in 1994 around the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. It was one of the factions fighting a civil war for control of the country following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and subsequent collapse of the government.
  • It originally drew members from so-called “mujahideen” fighters who, with support from the United States, repelled Soviet forces in the 1980s.
  • Within the space of two years, the Taliban had gained sole control over most of the country, proclaiming an Islamic emirate in 1996 with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Other mujahideen groups retreated to the north of the country.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

  • The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is an Islamic state governed by the Taliban that ruled the country from 1996 to 2001 (before its current victory on 15th August 2021).
  • Between 1996 and 2001, it controlled approximately 90% of the country, whereas remaining regions in the northeast were held by the Northern Alliance, which maintained broad international recognition as a continuation of the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
  • Only four countries, including neighbour Pakistan, recognised the Taliban government when it was in power.
  • Following the 9-11 attacks on the twin towers in the U.S. in 2001 by the al Qaeda, US-backed forces in the north swept into Kabul in November under the cover of heavy US airstrikes. Because of this The Taliban melted away into remote areas, where it began a 20-year-long insurgency against the Afghan government and its Western allies.

What is the Taliban’s ideology?

  • During its five years in power, the Taliban enforced a strict version of sharia law. Women were predominantly barred from working or studying, and were confined to their homes unless accompanied by a male guardian.
  • Public executions and floggings were common, Western films and books were banned, and cultural artefacts seen as blasphemous under Islam were destroyed. Opponents and Western countries accuse the Taliban of wanting to return to this style of governance in the areas it already controls – a claim the group denies.
  • The Taliban said earlier this year it wanted a “genuine Islamic system” for Afghanistan that would make provisions for women’s and minority rights, in line with cultural traditions and religious rules.

Impact of Taliban’s Victory

  • There are indications of a return to the harsh version of Islamic rule Afghans lived under from 1996 until 2001.
  • The biggest losers in the transition would be Afghan women and youth who had political, civic, economic and human rights and opportunities, and media freedoms under the Afghan government.
  • Afghans fear that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that almost eliminated women’s rights.
  • Fear is running high among the ethnic Hazara minority, Shia Muslims who were persecuted by the Taliban and made major gains in education and social status over the past two decades.
  • Commercial flights were later suspended after sporadic gunfire erupted at Kabul International Airport.
  • Evacuations continued on military flights.
  • The immediate challenge is a massive humanitarian crisis on account of the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced who have left other war zones and taken shelter on pavements and parks in Kabul.
  • Also, there is the panic and rush for passports and visas for those who fear for their lives from the Taliban or their sponsors.
  • There have been reports of revenge killings and other brutal tactics in areas of the country the Taliban have seized in recent days.

-Source: The Hindu

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