The Taliban refers to the Arabic word which means “student” are the fundamentalist Sunni Muslims, mostly from Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribes. The Taliban dominates large swaths of Afghanistan and a large part of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Most of the Taliban were part-time or full-time students at Madrassas, that’s why they chose the name Talib for them because a talib is an Islamic student, one who seeks knowledge compared to the mullah who is one who gives knowledge. They chose this name to distanced themselves from the party politics of the mujahideen and signaled that they were a movement for cleansing society rather than a party trying to grab power.”

The Taliban ("Students of Islamic Knowledge Movement") ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001. They came to power during Afghanistan's long civil war. Although they managed to hold 90% of the country's territory, their policies including their treatment of women and support of terrorists—disliked them from the world community. The Taliban was expelled from power in December 2001, by the U.S. military and Afghani opposition forces in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the U.S.

There was no such thing as Taliban until the Afghanistan’s civil war in the wake of Soviet troops’ withdrawal in 1989, after a decade-long occupation. But by the time their last troops withdrew in February 1989, they had left a nation in social and economic shards, 1.5 million dead, millions of refugees and orphans in Iran and Pakistan, and gaping political vacuum that warlords attempted to fill. Afghan Mujahideen warlords replaced their war with the Soviets with a civil war. Thousands of Afghan orphans grew up never knowing Afghanistan or their parents, specially their mothers. They were schooled in Pakistan’s Madrassas, religious schools which, in this case, were encouraged and financed by Pakistani and Saudi authorities to develop militantly inclined Islamists. Pakistan protected that group of militants as proxy fighters in Pakistan’s ongoing conflict with over Muslim-dominated (and disputed)

Many are now with the Taliban. • The banning of activities (especially hairstyles and clothing) generally tolerated by other Muslims on the grounds that the activities are Western.Kashmir. including forbidding of most employment or schooling for women. But Pakistan consciously intended to use the Madrassas’ militants as leverage in its attempt to control Afghanistan as well. were being raised to hate and to fight. Ahmed Rashid. almost from birth. Jeri Laber of Human Rights Watch wrote in the New York Review of Books of the origins of the Taliban in refugee camps (recalling an article he’d written in 1986). music. “in the spirit of Jihad. . “New kinds of Afghans are being born in the struggle. “Caught in the midst of a grownups’ war. videos. clapping during sports events. disarm the population. the Pakistani journalist and author of Taliban 2000.” THE PRACTICES OF TALIBAN: • Usually strict regulation of women. dancing. “Hundreds of thousands of youths." The children that I interviewed and wrote about in 1986 are now young adults.” THE AIM OF TALIBAN: As civil war was ravaging Afghanistan.” a “holy war” that would restore Afghanistan to its people. the young Afghans are under intense political pressure from one side or another. enforce Sharia law and defend the integrity and Islamic character of Afghanistan.” I reported. who knew nothing of life but the bombings that destroyed their homes and drove them to seek refuge over the border. • The banning of long lists of activities generally tolerated by other Muslims -movies. television. Afghans were desperate for a stabilizing counterforce that would put an end to the violence. wrote that the aim of Taliban was to: “Restore peace. hanging pictures in homes.

including takfir threats that they convert to Sunni Islam or be prepared to be killed. the Taliban were averse to debate on doctrine with other Muslims. shot or beheaded. . • Aggressive enforcement of its regulations. was forbidden. sporting western products like purses or shoes. • The destruction of non-Muslim artifacts. "The Taliban did not allow even Muslim reporters to question [their] edicts or to discuss interpretations of the Qur'an. Their strictness towards all aspects of life. generally tolerated by other Muslims. Schools for girls were closed. Policies. cinemas. dancing. Wearing make-up. any form of non-religious broadcasting and entertainment were banned. particularly the use of armed "religious police". flogged. Along with being very strict. The Taliban's long lists of edicts and decrees took an especially misogynistic view of women. • Harboring (to give shelter to) of Al Qaeda or other Islamic militia operatives. especially carvings and statues such as Buddhas of Bamyan (monumental statues of standing buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan). Music. Lawbreakers were beaten. made the world to hate Taliban. Wearing non-Islamic dress was forbidden. and Practices of the Taliban The initial goals of the Taliban were to disarm the country. on the grounds that the artifacts are idolatrous or Shirk (polytheism).• Oppression of Shia. Women were forbidden to work or leave their homes without verifiable permission. end lawlessness and enforce the Islamic law or the Sharia on a united Afghanistan." The Goals. The Taliban so far have been successful in bringing relative law and order in around 85% of the country that they control.

only high schools for boys and girls were separate. if they leave their houses they have to be covered from head to foot with a veil or a "chadaree". In order to achieve their military goal the Taliban have taken on the offensive against their foes. something practiced and thus imitated from the Prophet . In addition to their restrictions on women.) In reality the restriction is an extension of rural social value system supercharged with a puritanical religious conditioning. although more recently they have opened a handful of schools for girls under the age of 12. The Taliban and their allies have even engaged.After seizing power in Kabul in September of 1996. men are required to grow untrimmed beards (considered to be Sunnah. except in health care centers. however. forced eviction of civilians from their villages. the Taliban's internal policy has been centered on wresting all of Afghanistan from the control of their opponents." The Taliban argue. that these restrictions are solely for the "protection" of women's dignity. Besides being veiled. Because of these policies. in carrying out their own massacres. Rabbani and made up of a group of fleeting alliances and counter-alliances. even the unbending Taliban have moderates (in a very relative way) on the issue of women. especially after suffering military defeats. women are usually required to be accompanied by a male relative when they go out on the streets. often with devastating casualties on both sides as well as on the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. The Taliban initially banned all girls' schools. They have prevented women from working. Depending upon their background and the degree of exposure to the more extreme religious interpretations. they have been accused of engaging in "gender apartheid. the United Front headed by Prof. Taliban's strict social policies and their strange interpretation of Islam have had detrimental effects on Afghans and have alienated them from the rest of the world. And women caught violating these rules have been beaten. They further claim that the 20 years of war have depleted the country's resources to the point where a separate education system for girls is beyond their reach (Prior to Taliban. imprisonment and terrorizing suspected enemy collaborators. Taxi drivers have been admonished not to give ride to women unless they are covered fully. namely.

Forced recruitment of young men to fight the ever bloody war of attrition against the Northern alliance has depleted the man-power from these rural centers. They have also cut the hands of thieves and stoned to death those who are convicted for adultery. Celebration of new years and playing or listening to music is also not allowed. They have also banned kite flying. keeping pigeons and gambling (since they believe that this will lead to moral corruption). MULLA MOHAMMAD OMAR – TALIBAN’S LEADER: For their leader in Afghanistan. In the cities and urban centers. making the lives of ordinary afghans harder in what are already hard times for the population. authorities for sheltering "Osama bin-Laden and his al-Qaeda network . His reputation was that of a pious ascetic (rigorous). critics of the Taliban's strict policies point out that even in cities where the Taliban have brought relative peace and security for the past 4 years there has been little loosening of these harsh and strict measures.Mohammad (PBUH)) and pray five times a day (one of the five pillars of Islam). including once in the eye. however. He held the title Commander of the Faithful from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. These rules are felt more harshly in the urban centers of the country. in southeastern Afghanistan. But this security comes at a cost. The Taliban continue to justify their policies by stressing that they continue to face a costly war and the country's infrastructure is totally destroyed to accommodate the needs of all.S. In reality. He is wanted by U. He had fought the Soviets and been wounded four times. the Taliban turned to Mohammed Omar. who was born in 1959 in Nodeh village near Kandahar. the traditional way of life in villages has changed little by Taliban's rule. In addition the Taliban have shown little understanding in accommodating and appreciating the basic needs of an urban population. chicken fights. The Taliban. maintain that ordinary people's conditions have improved since the Mujahideen era. giving them the opportunity to rebuild after two decades of war. He had neither tribe nor religious pedigree. However. the modern and liberal way of life conflicts sharply with that of the Taliban's social and religious values. The situation of Afghans in the countryside controlled by the Taliban has improved because of increased peace and security.

as an example of Taliban justice. bin Laden declared war on the United States and exerted increasing influence on Omar. The fates and ideology of al-Qaeda and the Taliban became intertwined. in full view. TALIBAN AND PAKISTAN: Closely tied with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party in Pakistan. Bhutto’s government appointed the Taliban as protector of Pakistani convoys through Afghanistan. After a request for help from Mullah Omar in 1997. then the United States. Osama bin Laden moved to Kandahar as a guest of Mullah Omar. 23. Omar's reputation grew when he ordered a group of Taliban militants to arrest a warlord who had captured two teenage girls and raped them. one of many near-mythical accounts that have grown around Omar’s history—attacked the commander’s based. 1996. . Maulana Samiul Haq shut down his 2. swiftly defeating other warlords and conquering major Afghan cities. TALIBAN AND AL QAIDA: In 1994. pressured the Taliban to extradite bin Laden. and hanged the commander by their favorite means: from the barrel of a tank. The Taliban proved uniquely effective. That lavish financial support made it impossible for Mullah Omar not to protect bin Laden when Saudi Arabia. The 30 Talibs. helping to fund the Taliban’s offensives against other warlords in the north of the country.in the years prior to and the period during and immediately after the September 11 attacks". the Taliban received manpower from madrassas in Pakistan’s border region. In 1994. On Aug. Controlling the profitable windfalls that blow through the various trade routes of Afghanistan is a major source of profit and power.000 students to provide reinforcements for the Taliban army in Afghanistan. freed the girls. the same religious leader helped persuade 12 madrassas in Pakistan's NorthWest Frontier Province to shut down for one month and send 8. with just 16 rifles between them—or so goes the story.500+ student madrassa and "sent his entire student" body hundreds of miles away to fight alongside the Taliban. The next year. He is believed to be directing the Taliban in their war against Hamid Karzai's Government and foreign NATO troops in Afghanistan from Pakistan.

helping spread its ideology to parts of Pakistan. Pakistan is accused of sheltering and training the Taliban in operations "which include soliciting funding for the Taliban. U. diesel. In Quetta. SUPPORT FROM PAKISTAN: For a period of seven years since their origin." In December 1998 the Tehrik-i-Tuleba or Movement of Taliban in the Orakzai Agency ignored Pakistan’s legal process and publicly executed a murderer in front of 2.The Taliban returned the favor. although the Pakistan government denies it. By 1998 some groups "along the Pashtun belt" were banning TV and videos. They also promised to implement Taliban-style justice and ban TV. commander of operations in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and other officials say that the Taliban leadership is in Quetta.S. smashed satellite dishes and drove women off the streets". Lashkar-e-Omar. and other supplies. recruiting assistance. Lashkar-e-Taiba. PAKISTAN LINKS TO ISLAMIC TERRORIST GROUPS: Pakistan is also said to be a haven for terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda. In Kashmir Afghan Arabs from Afghanistan attempted to impose a "Wahhabi style dress code" banning jeans and jackets. imposing Sharia punishments "such as stoning and amputation in defiance of the legal system. It provided military equipment. shot video shop owners. As late as 2009. training and tactical advice that enabled the band of village mullahs and their adherents to take control of Afghanistan. Pakistan's government had been the Taliban's main sponsor. they shot and wounded three Kashmiri cable television operators for relaying Western satellite broadcasts. but its support was substantial— one year's aid (1997/1998) was an estimated US$30 million in wheat. music and videos. Pashtun pro-Taliban groups "burned down cinema houses. particularly women to adapt to the Taliban dress code and way of life.000 spectators Taliban-style. killing Pakistani Shia and forcing people. "On 15 February 1999. bankrolling . Sipah-e-Sahaba. petroleum and kerosene fuel. Officially Pakistan denied it was supporting the Taliban.

The country. Many Kashmiri groups also maintain their headquarters in Pakistanadministered Kashmir. 2001. The Lashkar-eTaiba. including India. recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban armies. providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel. with the second largest Muslim population in the world. On that morning. and on several occasions apparently directly providing combat support. planning and directing offensives. supporting Islamic terrorist organizations and is considered amongst the most dangerous nations in the world. Israel. 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. US. arranging training for Taliban fighters. harbors some of the most dangerous Islamic terrorist organizations in the world. In fact." as quoted by the Human Rights Watch. Russia. including Jaish-e-Mohammed" Pakistan has denied any involvement in the terrorist activities in Kashmir. On January 11.Taliban operations. The Pakistani intelligence agency. 2009. The Jaish-e-Mohammed. The normally reserved UNO has also publicly increased pressure on Pakistan on its inability to control its Afghanistan border and not restricting the activities of Taliban leaders who have been declared by the UN as terrorists. the US has stated that the next attack on US could originate in Pakistan. China. Other resources also concur stating that Pakistan’s military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) both include personnel who sympathize with and help Islamic militants adding that "ISI has provided covert but well-documented support to terrorist groups active in Kashmir. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been branded frequently as a 'Haven for Terrorism'. the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) is believed to be aiding these organizations in eradicating the existing of perceived enemies or those opposed to their cause. UK and other NATO nations 9/11 AND TALIBAN The September 11 attacks were a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda upon the United States on September 11. 600 Taliban fighters crossed the border from Afghanistan in to Pakistan but were made to retreat by the Pakistan Army contingent. which is cited as further proof by the Indian Government. arguing that it only provides political and moral support to the secessionist groups. The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and The Hizbul Mujahideen. The hijackers intentionally crashed two .

The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon in Arlington.C. which is a problem of the international trend towards greater personal liberty and gender equality.of the airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. killing everyone on board and many others working in the buildings. the Taliban have many enemies. especially those targeting the women. except Pakistan. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Pennsylvania. The Taliban's policy . after some of its passengers and flight crew attempted to retake control of the plane. who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists. In addition. the death of at least one person from lung disease was ruled by a medical examiner to be a result of exposure to dust from the World Trade Center's collapse. The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians. There were no survivors from any of the flights. D. the West and Russia view the Taliban as a threat to their national interests and have tried to isolate it. just outside Washington. The United States responded to the attacks by launching a War on Terrorism. especially in the airline and insurance industries. Both buildings collapsed within two hours. Some American stock exchanges stayed closed for the rest of the week following the attack. and partly because. including nationals of over 90 countries. The destruction of billions of dollars worth of office space caused serious damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan. The Taliban's lack of appreciation of foreign policy is evidenced by their strict social policies.C. TALIBAN’S FOREIGN POLICY: In the area of foreign policy. destroying nearby buildings and damaging others. and posted enormous losses upon reopening. but very few friends. and enacting the USA PATRIOT Act.973 victims and the 19 hijackers died as a result of the attacks. which the hijackers had redirected toward Washington. D. sophistication and in-depth knowledge of the world affairs. Many other countries also strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. This seems so partly because of their lack of experience. invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban. 2. Virginia. Afghanistan's neighboring countries. evidenced by their extraordinary international isolation.

which does not recognize the Taliban. considers its enemy number one. These countries reportedly have and continue to provide military. has further increased Russia's hatred with them. The Taliban's decision to recognize the government of independent Chechnya.regarding women have resulted in several open confrontation with the UN aid agencies and have hindered their efforts to provide aid to needy Afghans. United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia and the international praise that they won for their facilitation between the Indian government. Russia. Even the Saudis and the UAE have in the past year cooled their relations with the Taliban government. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.N. and the highjackers of the Indian Airliner. the further isolation of the Taliban by the U. Uzbekistan. has put them on crash course with the world's only super power. whom the U. the Taliban's unyielding position on Osama bin Laden. and thus the U. through The Taliban against the world . economic and political support to Taliban's opponents.S. Although the Taliban lack of experience in foreign policy has been an important factor in their international isolation. India. but the Taliban's recognition of an unviable government does not seem sound foreign policy as no other government has recognized the government of Chechnya and the action has infuriated Russia to increase its military. which resulted in freeing of the hostages. sanctions have led them closer to militant movements in Pakistan. the government of Taliban has so far attained recognition only from governments of Pakistan. More significantly perhaps. countries such as Iran. allegedly over the Osama issue. Showing moral support to the people of Chechnya was certainly called for in the face of their virtual slaughter and destruction by the Russian army. a government that exists only in name. Rabbani. The Taliban's successes in foreign policy are limited to their recognition by Pakistan.S. Unfortunately for The UN still recognizes the previous regime of Prof. Although Russia was never a friend of the Taliban. Afghanistan. political and economic support for forces of Ahmad Shah Mas'ud. In any case. and Tajikistan have also tried very hard to isolate and weaken the Taliban.

• Public support for the Taliban runs very high in the Pashtun North-West Frontier province where pro-Taliban groups have held uprisings and sought to emulate Taliban practices by performing public executions and oppressing women. 2001. By November 21. Only Saudi Arabia. Pakistan. has financed the Taliban. provided refuge for Osama bin Laden and his alQaeda organization. • The Taliban's relationship with Pakistan is especially problematic. and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government. Pashtuns are a sizable minority in Pakistan and dominate the Pakistani military. UNSCR 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000). after the Taliban refused to give up bin Laden.• • • • The Taliban regime faced international inspection and condemnation for its policies. Uzbekistan. • Even after their dismissal. . the Taliban's brand of Islamist extremism threatens to destabilize other countries in the region including Iran. China. and Pakistan. demanding that the Taliban cease their support for terrorism and hand over bin Laden for trial. from 1994 to at least 2001. 2001.S. • The United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions. terrorist attacks.S. the U. 2001. • The relationship between the Taliban and bin Laden is close. placed significant pressure on the Taliban to turn over bin Laden and al-Qaeda in response to the September 11. terrorist attack on the U. After the September 11. Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut diplomatic ties with the Taliban. On October 7. THE END OF THE TALIBAN: In September.S. The Taliban allowed terrorist organizations to run training camps in their territory and. even familial—bin Laden fought with the mujahideen. the Taliban had lost Kabul and by December 9 had been completely routed. A high percentage of the Taliban are ethnic Pashtuns. the U. and has reportedly married one of his daughters to Mullah Muhammad Omar. began bombing Taliban military sites and aiding the Northern Alliance..

The Taliban leader. • Remarkably.000 American troops and 19. including more than 40% of eligible women. Operation Mount Thrust was launched. Germany. and 2006 became the deadliest year of fighting since the 2001 war. has continued to escape capture. In January 2002. the Taliban recognized the interim government. an Afghan tribal leader. In Aug. however. which put a total of 21. NATO troops took over military operations in southern Afghanistan from the U. • In May and June. terrorizing villagers and attacking Afghan and U. more than a third of the country. On December 22. the polls were reasonably peaceful and the elections deemed fair by international observers. • In 2003. the Taliban continued its rebirth. 2004 were a success. 2001. or ran away from the country. after the United States shifted its military efforts to fighting the war in Iraq.An interim government was agreed upon by representatives of Afghanistan's various parties during talks held in Bonn. Afghanistan's first democratic presidential elections in Oct. Ten million Afghans. Hamid Karzai. troops.S. .-led coalition. many former Taliban returned to their homes and continue to work for the Taliban's goals. THE TALIBANS RESURGENCE: • While many of the Taliban's most radical leaders and supporters were killed.S. registered to vote. 2006. • In 2005 and 2006. Mullah Omar.000 NATO troops on the ground.000 Afghan and coalition forces to the south. Karzai initially supported the Taliban and is respected by many former Taliban leaders. Taliban militants penetrated southern Afghanistan. deploying more than 10. was sworn in as interim chairman of the government. attacks on American-led forces strengthen as the Taliban and al-Qaeda began to regroup. Throughout the spring. taken prisoner. Despite the Taliban's threats to kill anyone who participated.

000—the vast majority Taliban fighters—were killed in military operations during the year. More than 80 people died in the violence. After negotiations between government officials and mosque leaders failed. the military laid barrier to the mosque. and drug smugglers. as long as they promise no attacks into Afghanistan or against Pakistani troops. challenging that control is the only practical policy. About 2. The mosque's senior cleric.000 students. Maulana Abdul Aziz was caught by officials when attempting to escape. • The Taliban cancelled the cease-fire in July 2007 after clashes between government troops and radical Islamist priests and students at Islamabad's Red Mosque. • In 2008. who call themselves the "Pakistan Taliban. . supporters counter that a military solution against the Taliban is useless and will only generate more militants. • The Taliban now funds its revolution through the drug trade. after more than five years as Afghanistan's leader. who took over as chief of the mosque after the capture of Aziz. which held nearly 2. Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf signed a controversial peace agreement with seven militant groups. • In September 2006. Fighting in remote tribal areas strengthened after the raid.• In September NATO launched the largest attack in its 57-year history. troops stormed the compound and killed Abdul Rashid Ghazi. After the initial violence. militants." • Pakistan's army agreed to withdraw from the area and allow the Taliban to govern themselves. his brother. Several students escaped or surrendered to officials. President Hamid Karzai still has only marginal control over large swaths of his country. • Critics say the deal handed terrorists a secure base of operations. An August 2007 report by the United Nations found that Afghanistan's opium production doubled in two years and that the country supplies 93% of the world's heroin. which is common with warlords.

raising fears that the Taliban will use the opportunity to regroup. The continuous airstrikes forced many al-Qaeda and Taliban militants to retreat from towns formally under their control.I. the terrorist attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. an apparent attempt to disrupt the elections and further destabilize the country. the Pakistani government declared a cease-fire in the Bajaur region for the month of September in observance of Ramadan. drone strike in August 2009 in South Waziristan. • In August 2008. However. • In fact. the Pakistani military launched a three-week-long cross-border air assault into Afghanistan's Bajaur region.S. Despite his death. Secretary of State Robert Gates warned NATO members that the threat of an al-Qaeda attack on their soil is real and that they must commit more troops to stabilize Afghanistan and counter the growing power of both al-Qaeda and the Taliban. the Taliban was blamed for the violence that led up to August's presidential election in Afghanistan. . was killed by a C. and dozens of other suicide bombings. a remote region of the country. He was blamed for the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. which resulted in more than 400 Taliban casualties. U. the Taliban continued its resurgence in both Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009.• In February 2008.A. • Baitullah Mehsud. the leader of the Taliban in Pakistan.

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