May 18, 2024, Saturday
२०८१ जेष्ठ ५, शनिबार

Conquest of Kabul

A typical media-fed perception tags the Taliban as a terrorist organization. Like Islamic States( IS) in Syria, the Taliban in Afghanistan is the local rebellion organization. At present the media states,”Taliban captured Kabul the capital of Afghanistan.” This statement needs to be rethought! We need to see both sides of the coin!

Are they, foreign troops like of Soviet union or NATO? Was the recent event like those of the Soviet army invasion at dusk of twentieth-century or NATO troops attack at the dawn of the twenty-first century in Afghanistan?

Most of us don’t know the meaning of the word “Taliban”. I surfed the internet with curiosity for the literal meaning of Taliban. I was a little shocked by what I read on-screen, “Taliban is derived from the Arabic word Talib meaning Student. The same meaning holds in the Afghani national language(Pashto)! Now Taliban are with a gun in hand as Alkali are soluble in water. Are those guns manufactured in Afghanistan? What assisted the Taliban to reestablish its regime again? There is the fault of both the foreign regimes of the US, Russia and the Taliban. Only one group can’t be blamed for the present Afghan crisis.

The students who were holding pens for the pursuit of knowledge are now in the Presidential Palace at Ashraf Ghani’s chair holding guns in their hands to write the political fate of Afghanistan. Mao Zedong once said, “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” This holds true for the places where the pen doesn’t work. On the point of Gun, the Taliban was struggling to protect and free Afgan’s sovereignty for two decades against NATO.

There is a misleading hatred quote,”All Muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists belongs to Muslim.” This statement may seem to resonate with a metal chemistry statement,”All Alkali are Bases but all Bases are not Alkali.” The second-highest followed religious faith i.e Islam can’t be tagged as origin of terrorism and if it is done obviously this is a kind of hatred. The response was the attack on France Charlie Hebdo Magazine in France, 9/11 attack on Twin tower in US by the radical Islamic groups. They have faith on violence for the resistance of foreign invasion. They have hatred inside for foreign aid and invasion of the resources of the Arabian countries in the Middle east.

Politics and ideology are inseparable. Some believe in elected Peoples’ rule as democracy, some in communist and some in the law of religion. Afghan Taliban rule is based on religion. Communists ideology was imposed 20 years back by the Soviet Union and after that, in 2001 the ideology of Democracy was imposed till 2021.

Let’s first know about the Taliban organization and its origin in short for making the scenario clear. There was Soviet intervention in Afghanistan sovereignty (1978-1992). In 1990 Md. Mullah Omar led the youth Student movement in a traditional Islamic school(Madarsha) in Pakistan. ‘Afghan Mujahideen’ was the mother organization of the Taliban led by Md Omar. Initially,in 1992, 50 students(Talib) from Pushtun(an Iranian originated ethnic tribe) who were studying in Madrasa supported that organization. In Madars Islamic laws were taught. The early Taliban were motivated by the suffering among the Afghan people. Later on, in a short period of time, the organization spread wide and a network of 15,000 students was created. The University of Nebraska at Omaha in Afghanistan received US-funded Millions of Dollars for local language publication of education material aiming for resistance against the invasion of the Soviet Union. In an effort to aid the anti-soviet insurgency, the US government provided school books, prompting Islamic teachings. The US and Arab funnelled resources to ISI(Inter-service Intelligence) of Pakistan to support the Afghan Mujahideen group. This sowed the seed of hatred in Afghani students and offensive strikes started by rebellions at the Battle of Kabul. Offensive strikes compelled Russia to withdraw the Soviet army from Afghanistan. The  Russian regime left the soil with seeds sown by communists. Mohamad Najibullah was made president(1987-1992) who had communist orientation and was elected on the vested interest of the Soviet Union.  After the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the rebellion group again came into prominence as the President was not supported with foreign aid.

Mullah Omar’s organization was reorganized as the Taliban. They wanted Hisar(Kuran) Law to be followed in the country. They resisted the new government with weapons and other resource support from the US-Pak-Arab coalition.  As a consequence, Afghanistan fell into the ditch of the Civil war(1992-1996).

In September 1996 the Taliban soldiers abducted and tortured President Najibullah to death in the UN compound in Kabul. They dragged his dead body behind a truck through the streets of Kabul and finally hung his body on a traffic light pole outside the Presidential Palace.

Three fourth of Afghan provinces were under their rule(1996-2001).Taliban regarded it as a conquest of Kabul and started ruling the nation. They established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (EIA) which got recognition from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. The local tribes(Kabilas) also supported the Taliban regime. Among several ethnic groups, the Taliban belong to Pashtun(the ruling class of Afghanistan). Most of the rulers in Afghanistan come from this ethnicity. Taliban were popular(1194-1995) as they stamped out corruption, curbed lawlessness and made the roads and area safe. They tried to establish Sharia- Islamic law which they call God’s immutable divine law. Women were compelled to wear Burkha (local Islamic dress). Western media often pointed out the Taliban as being a radical Islam Misogynist( hatred for women). Burkha was used as a metaphor for Women right seizure by western media.

I agrree Liberty to women in Islam is limited, but we cannot blame a single piece of clothing or their faith. Traditions are formed  in thousands of years of social evolution. Burkha is just an outer wearing which is worn in Arabian country to be protected from scorching sun just as an black umbrella. We can’t expect all city streets around the globe to feel like being on a New York street.

In 2001 the 9/11 attack in the US-led by Osama Binladen agitated westerners. The US pointed out the connection of the attack with the Taliban. US and NATO troops fought aggressively in the battle of revenge with the Afghani Taliban. Finally, Taliban rule came to an end in 2001. US troops established the country as “The Republic of Afghanistan”. There was a two-term of democratic president Hamid Karzai from 2001 to 2014. NATO(North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) showed a heavy presence up to 2021. ANA(Afghan National Army) was trained by a US-led NATO force for 2004-2021.

In 2013 The founder leader of Taliban And. Mullah Omar died and the present leader is Haibatullah Akhundzada. In the regime of Hamid, Ashraf Ghani was finance Minister.  In two decades the US spent billions in Afghanistan military and INGOs for running a parallel government. Ghani told once,” For school construction, our government spends $ 50,000 for the same school foreign aid run INGO would spend $ 250,000 and its lawful corruption.”

Ashraf Ghani won in the consequent election and came to power and the US favoured his presidency. He is a great intellect (Politician, academic, economist). He studied in Europe, US, and became a PhD scholar. He worked at the world bank, and married a foreign Christian woman Rula Saade. He was Professor in the US and after returning to Afghanistan worked as Professor at Kabul University. He had very little ground knowledge about Afghan peoples life and local ruling systems. Taliban had no support for him although Ghani is also from the Pushtun tribe as he spent much of his life outside of Afghanistan. The Taliban once pointed out, “Ghani was playing a wooden doll of America. The guy with a white creased shirt with a silk tie and Black coat can not understand the real sentiment of Afghanistan.” In the event of a protest, they have torn the army dress and are compelled to wear a local dress.

The Book “My enemy’s enemy” by Avinash Paliwal elaborates on the political crisis in Afghanistan similarly Ashraf Ghani wrote a book “Fixing Failed states” and on the basis of the ideology in the book, He tried to reform and stabilize power groups. He wanted to form a Government in a coalition of the Taliban, but the country’s liquid  politics didn’t favour him. Once in an interview, he told the media, “The toughest job in Afghanistan is to be the president.” This statement shows how he was struggling to balance the regime’s power in Afghan politics.

At the local level the infrastructure was not renovated timely. The Taliban promoted drugs for youth. Afghanistan’s opium poppy harvest produces more than 90% of illicit heroin globally, and meets more than 95% of the European supply. Taliban was slowly spreading in a few provinces of the country and had raised billions from the local resources to run the organization. Taliban claims,” We want peace, security and sovereignty of Afghanistan including western troops leaving to enforce our own vision of Sharia.”

Westerners had always had a suspect view of the Arabic middle east nations. They have objections to the ruling system, Politics, Human rights and many more, but their vested interest is in the rich resource with minerals or Petroleum. The international policy of the US against Iran is also the same. One year back the Trump Presidency allegedly ordered a drone attack to kill Iran Revolutionary Gourd(Army) head Commander Qasem Suleimani. He was the second most influential leader after the supreme religious leader of Iran, Ayatollah Kamini. In Iraq, they boast of ending the dictatorship of Sadam Hussain. Destabilizing the Middle East and other Islamic countries is the consequence of US foreign  policy.

Ghani’s presidency start and end were according to the vested interest of the US. He came in power with American troops and as US troops were planning to leave by 31st August from Afghanistan, Ghani had to flee from Afghanistan. Several provincial governors surrendered peacefully which shows people and national acceptance of the Taliban regime. The Taliban again conquered Kabul peacefully at the point of Gun. Ghani after the exile tweeted,”In order to prevent the bloodshed in Kabul, gave sovereignty of the nation to Taliban.”

In the past Afghan politics revolved around Democrats, communist and Taliban ideology as the Bermuda triangle. In the triangle, Afghanistan stood at the right at the centre with million civilians dead, displaced and public properties destroyed. Both giant nations like America and Russia are to be also to blame for that level of hatred among Afghani youths who replaced Pen with guns.

Again Taliban have established their own country’s law and it coincides with the independence day(15th August) of our southern neighbour India. Some compare this event with “Flago of Saigon- Liberation of Saigon(capital of South Vietnam) by North Vietnamese with the main role of People’s Army of Vietnam(PAVN) to chase American troops.

It is true that the most affected are Civilians in most national crises. Afghani had faced violence for decades. IMR reports 25% i.e 98,000 are widow headed families in Afghanistan. The fear of Women’s rights seizure is expected and Burkha price surged from $2.5 to $40 in Kabul. European Liberty Radio aired, “Afghani struck in an uncertain future and will never be able to dream, aspire, think and believe.”

The US, European nations have already threatened to block all foreign aid and scholarships. The threat of withdrawing aids will sow the seed of hatred which can make Afghanistan a breeding ground of terror. We must not forget that “Terrorism is a form of hatred and is always two-sided as Love.”

Every country has the right to decide the way of rule and the rule need not necessarily be communist or democratic. So sensitive delegation, acceptance and cooperation is needed internationally. Let’s pray for Afghanistan. Let’s hope for a peaceful cooperative and evolving People supportive government from the Taliban with acceptance of the UN.

Written by -Shaurav Sharma(शौरव शर्मा)

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Hillenbrand, Carole (2015), Islam: A New Historical Introduction, London: Thames & Hudson, ISBN 978-0-500-11027-0

Matinuddin, Kamal (1999), The Taliban Phenomenon: Afghanistan 1994–1997, Karachi: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-579274-2

Rashid, Ahmed (2000), Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-08340-8

Wright, Lawrence (2006). The looming tower : Al-Qaeda and the road to 9/11. New York. ISBN 978-0-375-41486-2.