The Taliban, also meaning ‘students’ in the Pashto language, first appeared in Kandahar, Afghanistan after the withdrawal of soviet troops from the country. The group (consisting of Sunni Muslims) quickly rose to power. In September of 1995 the Taliban captured the province of Herat, then a year later exactly they captured the afghan capital Kabul ending the presidency of Burhanuddin Rabbani whom was a founding father of the mujahideen. By 1998 the Taliban had control of nearly 90% of Afghanistan and promised to bring peace and sharia law to the land (Islamic law).
Although the Taliban were welcomed into power by many of the people they had a very strict interpretation of Sharia and many people started to speak out against them believing girls aged 10 and over should be allowed to go to school and amputations for theft should not be allowed.
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates were the only three countries that recognized the Taliban when they were in power. Pakistan denies forming the Taliban although they were educated in Madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan.
The most notorious Pakistani Taliban attack took place October 2012 when Malala Yousafzai was shot coming home from Mingora. 2 years later the Peshawar school massacre greatly reduced the groups influence in Pakistan.
On September 11 2001 the attacks on the twin towers by Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement brought attention to the Taliban as they were accused of providing sanctuary for Bin Laden which therefore caused the US to launch attacks, although this is quite controversial, and by the first week in December the Taliban had lost power in Afghanistan.
After 20 years of conflict peace talks began and all foreign troops were called to evacuate immediately giving the Taliban the chance to retake Afghanistan, which only took them 2 weeks to retake a large percentage of Afghanistan.
Now the Taliban have promised to be fairer allowing women to be educated and promised peace for all afghans and not to take revenge on those who helped the foreign forces declaring an amnesty for all government officials and urged them to return to work.
People have the right to be sceptical given the past but hopefully brighter futures are in store for the afghan people whoever it is that is in power after a 20-year long conflict it’s time for Afghanistan to rebuild.
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