OpinionLegal View

Kabul fallen to Taliban, again !

Afghanistan is one of the deadliest places in the world. Despite of being a landlocked nation, the geographical location of Afghanistan has made it a battle ground for decades. It all started during Cold War when Soviet Russia planned to take over Afghanistan by force. It attacked Afghanistan and got engaged with them in a Guerrilla Warfare. Since the Afghans were not unified and were rather unskilled in military warfare, it was difficult for them to win war of land against the Soviets. As the insurgency grew, United Nations passed a resolution against the Soviet’s intervention in Afghanistan. Even the second largest body in the world named Organisation of Islamic Corporation has passed a resolution seeking immediate, urgent and unconditional withdrawal of Soviet troops. Soviet left Afghanistan in 1989 after a bloody war, losing much of its power. This loss not only let United States dominate the world as Super Power but also broke the Soviet Union into parts with Russia being the largest state. However, Afghanistan paid heavily for this with over 2 Million casualties.

After Soviet left Afghanistan, it was anticipated that Afghanistan with the self rule will be peaceful. However, what led to Soviet’s withdrawal was a bloody civil war which led the landlocked Muslim majority nation to another 4 & half year of bloodshed. The Civil war ended with collapse of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and Taliban taking control of Kabul and most of Afghanistan. Ideology of Taliban has been described as combining an “innovative” form of sharia Islamic law based on Deobandi fundamentalism which has its foundation in a small town of Uttar Pradesh in India named Deoband. This was the same organization which massacred Hindus during partition era and wanted to have a separate Islamic nation out of India which they got as Pakistan. After gaining power in Afghanistan, Taliban established Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. However, this power came at the cost of killing of thousands of civilians, millions driven from their homes and its capital Kabul heavily damaged. Other nations didn’t recognise Taliban as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan due to them being extremely cruel. Having capital at Kandahar, Taliban under the leadership of Mohammed Omar was condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. During its peak,  powerful Taliban committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes. During it’s rule, Taliban banned activities and media including paintings, photography, and movies and prohibited music using instruments. Additionally, it prevented women from attending school, working and forced Burqa on them. Breaking these rules attracted serious punishment including publicly whipping and execution. Condition of religious and ethnic minorities was heavily discriminated against during Taliban rule. It also engaged in cultural genocide, destroying numerous monuments including the famous 1500-year old Buddhist Bamiyan.

However, like every deadly empire, even Taliban’s rule had to end. When Al-Qaeda led by Osama Bin Laden attacked US on 9/11, US asked Taliban to handover Laden to them which was refused by Taliban as both Taliban and Al-Qaeda had similar ideologies, principles and interpretation of Islam. This led US invade Afghanistan along with other NATO forces in 2001. During its 20 years war, US mostly kept Taliban out of power in Afghanistan and was also been able to assassinate Osama Bin Laden in neighbouring country Pakistan which has been harbour to Taliban and most of the world terrorists today. However, this war didn’t come easy either to United States or Afghanistan. During its 20 year war, US spent over 3 Trillion dollars. Casualties includes over 2, 41,000 civilians and 2442 US soldiers.

Over 20,000 US soldiers wounded and a whopping amount of $90 billion was spent in the name of preparing Afghan forces.

However, worse was left. When US under the leadership of President Joe Biden decided to end the war and take back its troops, neither it could forecast well not it could implement it well. As per US President Biden, Afghanistan wouldn’t have to fall to Taliban after them leaving it. As per US intelligence, Taliban would have been able to regain power in Afghanistan only after 90 days. However, Kabul fell in less than 24 hours.

Even Strange thing was the fact that Taliban’s strength today is around 85,000 where as Afghan Army trained by United States has a whopping strength of over 3,50, 000. The how did this happen?

As per a research of PEW, 99% of Afghans wants Sharia law, and 43% agree with Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia. Additionally, 99.7% of Afghans practice Islam out of which 99% support Sharia.

This shows how Taliban took over Afghanistan in such short span of time. With most of Afghans supporting Taliban, President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation to save his own life. Ashraf Ghani is safe and so will be those accepting Taliban’s rule. But what is going to happen to the minorities? With most embassies closed including, Indian embassy is still working. Will they be able to save the minority including Hindus? Time will tell!


Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com

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