The word “Taliban”, which spreads fear across the globe, means “students” in the Pashto language. In today’s time, this meaning seems to be ironic. Where the phrase “Pen is mightier than a sword” is followed by the students all over the world, the Taliban thinks and works in the opposite direction, as for them the “government” can work while having rifles in its hands. Even after many claims by their side that they work for the people of Afghanistan, the stories and real-life incidents tell another tale.
Afghanistan – Graveyard Of Empires
Known as the “graveyard of empires”, Afghanistan has a rich history. Since the 11th century BC, this country was on the target of different empires that wanted to gain control over it. Though Afghanistan is a landlocked country, it continues to be a tempting spot in the game of geo-strategic powerplay. The rich history of Afghanistan tells us how empires in Persia (Iran) tried to have control over it. The well-known Alexander, also called Sikandar, who won many battles and came close to modern-day India, also wanted control over Afghanistan. But he couldn’t really fulfill this dream of his. The Mauryas from Magadh (South Bihar) also tried to capture Afghanistan, but their attempts were also not enough. The list goes on, and in present times, America also tried to rule over Afghanistan but failed to control the country.
The Taliban also couldn’t control Afghanistan for a long time on their first attempt.
The Inside Of Taliban
The Taliban have never been transparent about what they want to do. Sometimes they speak of a code of conduct wherein they mean no harm to anyone and just want to control the country in a better way, and at other times, as stated by many, it feels like their leadership motto in Afghanistan is based on a completely different agenda. Whatever be the motto, their strict code of conduct and Islamic Rules allow their gun carriers to be the rulers.
Even the Taliban leadership is hierarchical. The top body is known as Rahbari Shura. This body is also known as Quetta Shura after the Pakistan city. It is believed that this was the city in which the Taliban’s founder Mohammad Mullah Omar, along with his “students”, was hiding after the US took control over Afghanistan in the year 2001.
After Mohammad Mullah Omar died, the leadership was passed on to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, who was killed in an American strike in the year 2016 in Pakistan. At present, the Taliban is led by Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as the head of the Rahbari Shura. This particular council takes all the political and military decisions that are to be followed.
Haibatullah Akhundzada runs the Rahbari Shura with the help of three other people. Mullah Muhammad Yaqoub is Mullah Omar’s son, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is one of the co-founders of the Taliban and Sirajuddin Haqqani. Muhammad Yaqoub is in charge of the religious and ideological affairs of the Taliban, and Sirajuddin Haqqani is responsible for quelling the insurgency.
There are many commissions below Rahbari Shura. With the help of these commissions, the Taliban runs their shadow government. These committees are responsible for imposing policies regarding the military, economy, education, health, and the most importantly, propaganda.
Now that the Taliban is controlling Afghanistan, the most powerful is the military commission which appoints governors and fighters in the province. The political committee of the Taliban is led by Abdul Ghani Baradar who talked with the US negotiators for a peace deal that they signed in Qatar in February 2021. This deal is the basis of the current withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan after twenty years of stay in the country.
The Rise, Fall, And Rise Of The Taliban
Taliban first came to be known in the year 1994 after capturing Kandahar successfully. There they worked in many positive ways. They restored the routes, kept the city safe from robbers, and all of this was done under Islamic law. There is no question that the Taliban was happily supported by Pakistanis, as the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan was a win-win situation for Pakistan.
This group initially came with the promise of ridding the city of Kandahar of all the crimes and then eventually showed everyone that this is what their motto is, to clean the entirety of Afghanistan from all the dirt and crime it was loath with. In just two years, they captured the capital city Kabul from President Burhanuddin Rabbani in 1996, and thus formed the government of Afghanistan by capturing about 90% of the province.
The rule of the Taliban was disapproved of by most of the world, especially due to the rules which they put forward for the women, which took away basic human rights like accessing education or even stepping out of their home freely.
They had no judicial system. Though they claimed that they had governors and offices, the world knows how guns were used in the court, and justice was served without any investigation. They went on harassing people of every other religion, destroying the historic symbols like Buddha in Bamiyan.
They not only snatched the freedom of the Afghan people but also put forward strict rules about how men and women should dress. Men always had to keep a long beard and never wear shorts, and women had to wear a Burqa all the time. If someone questioned or refused to follow these rules, then the punishment was given publicly. The rules were oppressive for everyone, but more so for the women of Afghanistan.
When the Taliban were at the height of their power, they controlled about 9 out of 10 parts of Afghanistan. After Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda carried out the 9/11 terror attacks in the US killing about 3,000 people, it led to the rooting out of the Taliban from Afghanistan for exactly 20 years. In the year 2021, on August 15th, the Taliban successfully captured the city of Kabul and started ruling over the whole of Afghanistan.
The coming back of the Taliban puts Afghanistan at the risk of being under a regime where people will not be able to even think freely. The coming of the Taliban is increasing the risk of terrorism across the world and can harm the peace of many nations.