Afghanistan and the Taliban
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It is evident that since the formation of the Taliban group most of civilians in Afghanistan have lost life and many are continuing to surfer under the mercy of this group. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the united state government have come together to assist the government of Islamic republic of Afghanistan in practicing and extending its authority over the Taliban group. In this pa-per will constantly focus on the Taliban, through analysis and discussing the emergence of the group and where they constantly draw their strength from. More to this we try to understand how this group has contributed to the set back being experienced in Afghanistan.
In the year 1996, a Muslim fundamentalist group known as the Taliban took control of the Afghanistan’s government until the year 2001 where the united state led an invasion to drive it away from power. In spite of its dismissal, remnants of this group have constantly maintained greater influence especially in the rural areas of the country. It is evident that despite of the united state government getting involved in the invasion of this group, the Taliban has continued to offer protection through the provision of safer haven to their leader Osama bin Laden and the most wanted terror group known as the Al-Qaeda.
Nojumi, (2002) asserts that, though the Taliban’s have been out powered for several years, it still remains the cultural enforcement in the region which is known for its form of parallel governance whose aim is to undermine the united state backed government. The main characteristic of the Taliban group in Afghanistan is interpretation of the Islamic laws. For instance, it has been involved in the public execution of criminals and constantly outlawing women education. In the first part of the year 2008 and 2009 saw increased crashes between the Taliban’s fighters and the government coalition forces. From the Taliban perspective, Islamic is a comprehensive way of life, it is based on radiating basis for every event be it social, political, Military and economical. It is important that both women and men to abide to the Islamic laws so as they can be able to be granted their rights.
The word Talib which forms the word Taliban is Arabic meaning “one who seeks” or” someone seeking for religious knowledge”. Taliban which comes from the word Talib mean are students of religious seminaries which existed long before the arrival of Islam in the region of Afghanistan. Although the movement Taliban has never been until in recent times, it is not new to the people of Afghanistan (Nojumi, 2002). They have been known to be components of religious establishment and have and still living in the shadow of other economical and political groups. During the general struggle of the soviet invaders, Taliban fought alongside Mujahedeen under the influence of Mohammad Nabi leadership.
According to Nojumi (2002), their followers, on the other hand, have stuck to the idea that the Taliban are a religious and ethical force that emerged from their own from villages to save Afghans from the insecurity, lawlessness and dishonesty of Mujahedeen period and to reunite the people of Afghanistan. The truth, however, seems someplace in the centre. It is true that the initial basis of the rise of Taliban was to fight among Mujahedeen groups that had practically divided Afghanistan in various fiefdoms resulting in carpet ruin of Kabul which is the capital city of Afghanistan, killings of thousands of innocent civilians, and broad spectrum of lawlessness. It is also true that once the Taliban entered the political and military phase, they received maintenance from overseas sources to go on with their military protest.&nbs;
In the context of the Afghanistan history, the rising up of the Taliban movement was not considered to be extremeness since ninety percent of the people of Afghanistan are Muslims. Initially, the Taliban’s were known to be a mixture of mujahedeen who are associated to the soviet invasion of the 1980s and a group of the pashtun tribesmen who mostly spent their time in the Pakistan religious school . The group leaders of this mixture practiced wahhabism which is a kind of an orthodox practice that is normally found in Saudi Arabia. It is evident that with the help of government deflection that saw the emergence of Taliban as a force in the politics of afghan in the year 1994. The year 1994 is characterized as the year associated to the midst of a civil war between the southern and northern Afghanistan.
The groups of Taliban formed from religious students, were loosely prearranged on a regional basis especially during the time of the civil wars. Although it was evident that they represented a potential enormous force, there emergence was not that a unity entity but that which is chosen to protect the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban had constantly gained an initial territorial in the southern part of Kandahar city where it continued to expand their influence by way of mixing various forces, payoffs and negotiations (Crews, 2008).
It is during the year 1996 did the Taliban gather a lot of influence because they had managed to capture the capital city of afghan and had also taken over the national government of afghan. After it was able to overtake the government of Afghanistan, the Taliban form of ruling was characterized by strict Islamic laws where television viewing was banned, women were supposed to wear head to toe veils and jailing of men whose beards were short. Its strong attachment to the Islamic laws was witnessed especially when it destroyed a structure of a giant Buddha in Bamiyan so as to signify the intorelance associated to its regime.
Before the invasion of the united state government in the year 2001, the Taliban’s had took control of ninety percent of Afghanistan territories although the united nation did not officially recognize its regime. 2007 records indicated that Taliban maintained its permanent dominance of 54% of afghan and has continued to exert influence on the exterior regions of the central government (Crews, 2008). By December 2008, the Taliban had extended its area of influence to 72% of the country. Report from ISOS that is international council on security and development indicate that the Taliban will continue to infiltrate the city due to their great influence and confidence.
Crews (2008), Asserts that Analysts argue that it is very difficult to gauge on the number of Taliban’s fighters who are under arms in Afghanistan. Reports indicate that the group may field as many as 10,000 fighters where three thousand of these are full time insurgents. These same analysts have noted that the Taliban fighters have recently began using suicidal bombings due to their quest in competing with strong government of the developed countries.
It is very important that we get to understand the leadership and structure of the Taliban so as we obtain a clear understanding of what is comprised within the group. It is not yet clear who leads the Taliban’s currently but it was Mohammed Omar a cleric who led the group during its rise to power (Crews, 2008). In the year 1996 to 2001 Omar who was a military leader ruled Afghanistan under the title commander of the faithful. Although he remains to be at large with the US government, there is no doubt that he plays a significant role in the current operrations of the Taliban’s.
Since the invasion of the united state government and the NATO, the two forces have been successful in killing and capturing of Taliban leaders. Through its air strikes, the US government has managed to killer several leaders including killed Mullah Akhtar Usmani a top commander, Taliban spokesman Mullah Dadullah just to mention but a few. Thought this can be termed as a success, it is evident that numerous Taliban commanders are continuing to evade capture.
It is evident that up to date, even after the killing and capturing of prominent leaders the movement has continued to exert huge populace and influence across Afghanistan and its surroundings. For instance, in the western province of Farah, the movement has been accused of co-opting local police force and military forces. There are significant glimpse show cased by the Taliban movement in its centralized form of governance and the structure associated to this governance (Hayes, 2007).
Other than a centralized form of governance, the movement has an established post 2001 administration and a judiciary. The administration and the judiciary is organized distinctively were by every operation with the movement is accounted for and communicated effectively to all the members within the group. Within the organizational of the Taliban ruling, press issues and policy statements were not released so as to avoid being tracked by the US military officials.
According to Hayes (2007), cabinet ministers consisted of military commanders who most likely had left their administrative positions. Due to the strict Islamic laws which were constantly used in governance, the minister of finance neither had a budget nor qualified since no salary or preference were allowed to be issued to them because of these laws. Decision within the organization of the leadership structure of the Taliban’s widely depended on the advice given by Amir-ul Momineen who was the commander of the faithful. His advice was thereby pledged by the support of the Taliban spokesman Mullah Wakil.
It was evident that the popularity of the Taliban by the Afghanistan people had constantly surprised others warring factions within the country. Many of the Afghanis were at a greatly relief due to their realization that the weary conflict and anarchy in their leadership structure had been replaced by the stanch Taliban who were associated to the success of eliminating corruption and the restoration of peace.
According to Maley, (1999), the Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Muhammad Omar brought up order through the establishment of very stern interpretation of Sharia or what is known as Islamic law. Unrestricted executions and became common events that were carried out at afghan soccer stadiums. In order to ensure that there were no non Islamic influence, television, internet and music were banned (Maley, 1999).
Women were not treated well to an extent of not allowing them to attend school. Other that this, women were barred from working outside their homes or even participating in any form of education. To contrast their strict beliefs of safeguarding their religious principles, the Taliban profited smuggling operation and opium fostering.
Although it is evident that the Taliban managed in reuniting of many Afghanis, they were accused of the unending civil wars in Afghanistan. The conditions in the cities were very bad to the extent that it was not easy to access clean water, employments and food. A continuing famine and very bad weather from winter increased the flow of the people of Afghanistan to Pakistan where they became refugees.
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