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TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN: Fe, 2014 Introduction The Taliban is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when a US!led in asion toppled the regime for pro iding refuge to al-Qaeda and #sama bin $aden The Taliban regrouped across the border in %a&istan, where its central leadership, headed b' (ullah (ohammed #mar, operates an insurgenc' and shadow go ernment aimed at undermining the go ernment in )abul Since 2010, both the United States and Afghanistan h
  TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN: Fe, 2014 Introduction The Taliban is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when a US!led in asion toppled the regime for pro iding refugeto  al-Qaeda  and #sama bin $aden The Taliban regrouped across the border in %a&istan, where its central leadership, headed b' (ullah (ohammed #mar, operates an insurgenc' and shadow go ernment aimed at undermining the go ernment in )abul Since 2010, both the United States and Afghanistan ha e pursued a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, but with the planned  withdrawal of international forces at the end of 201*, man' anal'sts sa' the prospects for such an agreement are dim Rise of the Taliban The Taliban was formed in the earl' 1990s b' a %ashtun faction of mu+ahideen, Islamic fighters who resisted the So iet occupation of Afghanistan 19-9./9  with the co ert bac&ing of the US entral Intelligence Agenc' and its %a&istani counterpart, the Inter!Ser ices Intelligence directorate ISI The' were +oined b' other %ashtun tribesmen who, li&e the mu+ahideen, studied in %a&istani madrassas seminaries taliban is %ashto for 3students3 %ashtuns comprise a pluralit' in Afghanistan and are the predominant ethnic group in much of the countr'4s south and eastThe So iet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 19/9 (ohammad 5a+ibullah, a So iet client, was president from 19/- until 1992 e stepped down amid increasingl' fractious politics, ushering in a period of ci il war 7urhanuddin 8abbani, a Ta+i& mu+ahideen leader, held tenuous control as president as mu+ahideen parties competed for control of )abulThe Taliban coalesced during this period, promising to impose stabilit' and with it, rule of law in place of endemic corruption, a charge it le eled at 8abbani4s go ernment Taliban +urisprudence was drawn from both eobandi interpretations of sharia, which were colored b' the austere :ahabbi traditions of the madrassas4 Saudi benefactors, and %ashtunwali, the %ashtuns4 pre!Islamic tribal code As the Taliban consolidated its control o er Afghanistan, it began  imposing nationwide this s'ncretic legal s'stem, which, with punishments such as flagellation, amputation, and e;ecution, 3 deepened the ethnic divide ,3  wrote +ournalist Ahmed 8ashidThe Taliban too& the southern cit' of )andahar in 5o ember 199*, and in September 1996 sei<ed )abul, ousted the 8abbani go ernment, and stormed the U5 compound where 5a+ibullah had sought refuge, torturing and e;ecuting him The Taliban controlled some 90 percent of the countr' before its 2001 o erthrow  b' US!led forces, anal'sts sa'In power for fi e 'ears, the Taliban regime was an 3 oxymoron of an Islamist state ,3 wrote =illes )epel, a scholar of political Islam The Taliban4s e;clusi e interests, he wrote, were imposing eobandi norms in Afghanistan while waging  +ihad on the countr'4s peripher', and so it neglected basic state functions The Taliban4s (inistr' for the %romotion of >irtue and %re ention of >ice, for e;ample, was responsible for moralit' It enforced prohibitions on beha ior deemed un!Islamic, re?uiring women to wear the head!to!toe burqa , or chadri   banned music and tele ision and +ailed men whose beards it deemed too short umanitarian aid agencies, mostl' drawn from the Islamic world, mo ed to fill the oid of social ser ices The Taliban regime was an oxymoron of an Islamist state. —Gilles  Kepel, Institut d'Études oliti!ues de aris #$ien$es o% The Taliban regime was internationall' isolated and censured from its inception onl' %a&istan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab @mirates recogni<ed the go ernment Two U5 Securit' ouncil resolutions passed in 199/ urged the Taliban to end its abusi e treatment of women The following 'ear the council imposed sanctions  on the regime for harboring al!aeda The Taliban garnered international outcr' in 2001 after destro'ing the colossal, ancient 7uddha statues at Bamiyan , an iconic piece of the countr'4s cultural heritage re ered b' local Shiites%a&istan supported the Taliban as a force that could unif' and stabili<e  Afghanistan while sta ing off Indian, Iranian, and 8ussian influence, and saw its %ashtun roots, shared with much of the %a&istani arm'4s officer corps, as a sourceof le erage, )epel wrote  Courtesy Congressional Research Service In the late 1990s, factions in northern Afghanistan opposed to Taliban rule formed the Northern Alliance , which was composed of ethnic minorit' Ta+i&s, U<be&s, and a<aras who are Shiites The alliance assisted US!led forces in routing the Taliban after 9B11 Leadership and Support Structure (ullah #mar, a cleric and eteran of the anti!So iet resistance,  led Taliban-ruled Afhanistan  from 1996 to 2001 as emir al-mu'minin , or 3commander of the faithful3 e granted al!aeda sanctuar' on the condition that it not antagoni<e the United States, but bin $aden reneged on this agreement in 199/  when he orchestrated bombings of US embassies in @ast Africa The episode wasindicati e of tensions that emered bet!een the t!o roups , anal'sts sa' the Taliban was fundamentall' parochial while al!aeda had its sights set on global +ihad Cet after 9B11, #mar did not ac?uiesce to the US demand that he gi e up bin $adenThe regime was dismantled during the subse?uent US occupation, but #mar and man' of his top aides escaped to the frontier territories of %a&istan, where  the' reconstituted the Taliban4s central leadership ubbed the 3uetta Shura3 for the capital of 7alochistan pro ince, where the' are belie ed to ha e ta&en refuge, the' maintain a degree of operational authorit' o er Afghan Taliban fighters 7ut the' ha e de ol ed significant authorit' to local commanders and appear 3unwilling or unable to monopoli<e anti!state iolence,3 a U5 Securit' ouncil monitoring team found  in September 201D The team noted the presenceof other insurgent groups in Afghanistan, as well as Taliban commanders who ha e conducted attac&s that iolate the shura4s directi eshief among those groups is the a??ani networ&, a #S#-desinated terrorist orani$ation  that is closel' affiliated with the Taliban but operates with relati e autonom' from its base in %a&istan4s Eederall' Administered Tribal Areas EATA a??ani operations straddle the urand $ine, the border that cuts through %ashtun and 7aluch tribal areas between Afghanistan and %a&istan, and ha e included ma+or attac&s on 5AT# forces uring the So iet occupation, the United States and Saudi Arabia pro ided the group4s founder,   %alaluddin &a''ani , with considerable materiel to fight the So iets 7' the end of the decade, he had culti ated close ties to %a&istan4s ISI, wealth' donors in the =ulf, and bin $aden :hile ser ing in the Taliban4s go ernment, he came to be al!aeda4s 3Afghan patron,3 New Yorker staff writer Ste e oll told Frontline (an' e;perts suspect the (a)istani security establishment  continues to support the Taliban to counter India4s influence in Afghanistan b' pro iding militants safe ha en in its western tribal areas :hile Islamabad dismisses charges of official support, tribes ha e pro ided sanctuar' to Taliban fighters, in part out of obligations of hospitalit' under the %ashtunwali code   Tehri)-i- Taliban (a)istan , commonl' &nown as the %a&istani Taliban, is distinct from its  Afghan namesa&e it emerged in 2002 in response to the %a&istani militar'4s


Jul 23, 2017
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