Afghanistan.docx - Taliban’s origin / who created Taliban ?...

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Taliban’s origin / who created Taliban ?Taliban’s origins in the 1980s during the cold war. Afghan guerrillas called the Mujahedeen waged waragainst Soviet occupation for around a decade. They were funded and equipped by an array of externalpowers, including the US. In 1989, the Soviets pulled out and that marked the beginning of the collapseof the Afghan government that had relied heavily on them. By 1992, a Mujahedeen government wasformed but suffered from bloody infighting in the capital.The unfavorable conditions on the ground created fertile ground for the emergence of the Taliban. AnIslamic fundamentalist group dominated by those of Pashtun ethnicity, the Taliban is believed to havefirst appeared inSaudi Arabia-funded hardline religious madrassas in northern Pakistan in the early1990s.Some of them were Mujahedeen fighters against the Soviets. In 1994, the Taliban started amilitary campaign from the south of Afghanistan. By 1996, the group had captured the Afghan capital,Kabul, without much resistance.Life under the Taliban(1996-2001)For the war-weary people of Afghanistan, the Taliban’s promise of bringing security and order on the onehand and curbing corruption on the other was appealing. But that was coupled with a high andsometimes unbearable cost: introduction of harsh punishments such as public executions, closing girls’schools (for those aged ten and above), banning television and blowing up historical Buddha statues, toname a few. The group’s justification stemmed from the blending of a fundamentalist understanding ofIslam with Afghan traditions. During the peak of the Taliban rule (1999), not a single girl was enrolled in asecondary school and merely 4% of those eligible (9,000) were at primary schools. Now around 3.5million girls are in school. Women couldn’t leave their homes without a male guardian, and wererequired to cover their bodies from head to toe in a long robe called a burqa. They could not visit healthcenters, attend school or work.Why did USA invade Afghanistan ?After the US-led invasion of the country following the Taliban’s refusal to hand over those behind the9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, many of the Taliban’s senior figures evaded capture and reportedly tookrefuge in Quetta in Pakistan. Later, this led to the formation of the “Quetta Shura” — the Talibanleadership council that guides the insurgency in Afghanistan. The short-lived euphoria after the invasioncame to an end when the Taliban remobilised in 2004 and started a bloody insurgency against the newAfghan government and supporting foreign troops, costing the lives of at least 170,000 people, including51,613 civilians to date. In 2021,Estimated number of Taliban fightersThe insurgent group has an estimated 75,000 fighters and its insurgency machinery runs on foreignfunding (from governments and private donors) as well as local level taxation, extortion and illicit drugeconomy.

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