What is going on in Afghanistan? Well, nothing good, nothing good at all, folks.
The fate of Afghanistan became crystal clear in the world’s eyes on Sunday, 15th August 2021, when the Taliban took over the capital of Afghanistan called Kabul. This happened when the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, abandoned the country and fled to Uzbekistan’s neighbor. Soon after, the President’s seat was taken over by the Taliban in the name of restoring peace and security.
Where most people are terrified and worried about the future of Afghanis, their children, and women, some are not familiar with what is going on, who these Taliban are, and what they want from Afghanistan.
Who are the Taliban?
The word Taliban means students, the federation of Taliban came into being in 1990 from Northern Pakistan. Taliban is one of the religious groups and is also called the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. The Taliban in Afghanistan can differ from the one based out of Pakistan called, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
At the current moment, the Taliban is estimated to have at least 250,000 fighters. It is essential to note that the Taliban were in power for quite some time. They were a predominant force that would consist of students (talib) in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. How much power did they hold in Afghanistan? Well, they held control over 65% of the land in the Afghanistan region. The group would implement Sharia law in the significant area that it controlled.
These fighters came to be in early 1990’s due to the ongoing civil war within that nation. This is very important to note, the Taliban came forth and became a prominent faction because of the civil war. The country faced significant instability and in times of instability, the faction that promises a relative level of stability can gain quite a bit of support. Remember that many of these initial Taliban members were also trained in fighting because they fought against the Soviets.
It is essential to note here the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan took place in 1979, it would have a large presence within the region until moved out with a mix of support from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Pakistan called for help as quickly as possible because it did not want to face a Soviet threat. Saudi Arabia provided support and the United States also helped to provide training to Mujahadeen in the region to help counter the Soviet Threat.
After the Soviet threat was eliminated, the country would notice a bit of power vacuum. Clashes took place and the Taliban would seize control a few years later.
The Taliban in the Present
In addition to this, the religious federation states that it aims to restore peace, security, and serenity by implementing the Law of Shariah. However, many people think the opposite and note that it is a terrorist group. It is important to remember that the Taliban were in power in the capital of Kandahar. Then, in December 2001, the United States stepped in and sought to spread freedom to the region in response to the 9/11 attacks.
It is essential to note that while the Taliban were leading the nation before the US-based regime change, only a few countries officially acknowledged it’s leadership. These nations were Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
The reason why were not officially recognized was due to their inhumane policies and actions. For instance, they would raze fertile land and set it ablaze. The Taliban would not let individuals obtain the assistance provided by the United Nations. It is an organization that has also shown its lack of respect for property as it destroyed thousands of houses in the region.
The Taliban would not allow any type of music, arts, or other type of similar activities within the region. It was a dreary and soul-less existence for many. No expression, freedom, or the ability to create art. They would initiate public whippings and executions for those that did not stay in line with the policies stated.
It is essential to note that it looks like it may return this form of governance.
What do the Taliban want from Afghanistan?
Now, as noted above, it is not the first time that the Taliban have taken over, but history has repeated itself. In 1996, the Taliban took power Afghanistan by taking over its capital and overthrew the government of President Burhan Uddin Rabbani.
Back in the history of late 1990s, the Taliban either executed, introduced, or supported the punishment which was the part of Shariah, such as public execution of murderers and amputation of those who were found guilty of theft.
The Taliban also reinforced the growth of beards for men and the wearing of burqas for women. Similarly, this time in 2021, the Taliban have taken over Kabul, and government forces surrendered to avoid any casualties of the ordinary public. However, many are anxious worldwide and are worried for the future of Afghan women and children, especially of their liberty, freedom, and education.
Taliban themselves have declared that the war is over in the country. Moreover, they have also guaranteed to end violence and maintain stable conditions in the future as well. But many wonder how much they have changed. Many did not waste time wondering and sought to flee the area as quickly as possible. The previous Afghani President quickly fled to the neighboring country, and, as such, shows the large scale capitulation that has taken place by the previous administration within that land.
Indeed, although the conditions are supposedly stable, there is fear amongst the people. A rush of Afghanis was seen at the Afghan airport when the Taliban took over the President’s seat. Many tried to flee to neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
What is Next for Afghanistan?
The critical question now is what is next for Afghanistan? We are already witnessing potential threats of ISIS rising up due to the chaos that is present in places such as Lebanon, Libya, and other countries within the Middle East, remember that chaos and instability serves no one well, except for terror organizations.
While ISIS is a threat, the issue is that China, Iran, and other countries may now have more ability to influence movements within that region. It serves as another destabilization point where more chaos can breed further issues on a larger geopolitical level.
We are already seeing a migrant crisis from the Middle East and Africa to Europe, then we are seeing the trend of a migrant crisis from Central and South America to the United States’ border. More destabilization in strategic areas certainly create a host of issues over the long run.