By Mostafa Hamam: The full story of the Taliban

Mostafa Hamam

The full story of the Taliban

Written by: Mostafa Hamam

Taliban is the plural of the word student in the Pashto language spoken by 50% of Afghans. It is specifically intended for religious school students about the first nucleus of the movement’s fighters formed from the pioneers of religious institutes in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

American intelligence expected Kabul to fall into the hands of the Taliban 6 months after the last American soldier was evacuated, except for the movement that sought refuge in the mountains and villages during 20 years, it only needed 10 days to take control of the presidential palace in Kabul, the capital, before America withdrew its last soldiers.

The longest war fought by the United States in history was spent 20 years ago with promises to eliminate the Taliban. This is documented by audio and video from George Bush Jr. at the declaration of war.

Between the rise and fall and the journey from the caves to the presidential palace, what was the story of the Taliban?

Taliban from caves to palaces:

In 1989, the Soviets left Afghanistan after the failure of their 10-year military campaign at the hands of the Afghan and Arab mujahideen, who had received broad support from America and Western and Arab regimes alike within the stations of the Cold War against communism.

The American intelligence called "Operation Hurricane" to arm the Afghan Mujahideen through Pakistan. The Americans provided the Mujahideen with "Stinger" anti-helicopter missiles, and President Reagan received a delegation of the Mujahideen at the White House.

The Islamic world, with Western support, raised the slogan "Jihad to expel communism from Muslim countries."

Donations were collected and the pulpits chanted in the name of the Mujahideen throughout the Arab world until the Soviet exit.

President Reagan came out declaring the victory of the Mujahideen himself and affirming the continued support of the Mujahideen.

Then the Afghan warlords splintered, and the country was torn apart under their shadows.

This remained the case for about 7 years, during which Afghanistan suffered the scourge of civil war.

In this climate was the emergence of the Taliban.

Seeds grown in Afghan refugee camps on the border with Pakistan, as well as in religious schools in Peshawar and Kandahar, Afghanistan, the most famous of which is the Dar Al Uloom Al Haqqania School in the Pakistani province of Khyber Bukhtkhwa, which was run by Mullah Sami Al Haq Abu Taliban as he was nicknamed

In July 1994, several religious school students gathered in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

They organized themselves into groups to control and disarm the warlords.

They fought the factions they were previously involved in, and the magic turned on the magician.

The movement of Afghan school students, which became known as the Taliban, which derives its name from its name, was able to take over the district of Afghanistan. Two months later, the students pledged allegiance to one of Mullah Sami al-Haq, Mullah Muhammad Omar, who became the first leader of the Taliban in the following months.

The movement expanded its activities and seized the largest stores of weapons and ammunition in Afghanistan. Still, the movement's star emerged in the international media for the first time after rescuing a relief convoy sent by the Pakistani government.

The movement quickly expanded its influence in western Afghanistan, annexing to its areas of control the Herat province bordering Iran and controlling large areas in the southwest of the country to move steadily towards the presidential palace.

September 1996 was the first fall of Kabul to Taliban fighters after the withdrawal of government forces.

The movement executed former President Muhammad Najibullah, supported by the Soviets during the invasion, and declared Mullah Muhammad Omar "Emir of the Faithful."

Mullah Muhammad Omar

In 1998, the Taliban had controlled 90% of Afghanistan.

It won the recognition of only 3 countries: Pakistan, which some accuse of being behind the movement and handing it over, and Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, which recognized the 1997 government.

The movement then raised the slogan "Stop the infighting after the expulsion of the Soviets."

With the arrival in Kabul, the movement imposed a harsh social order by its strict interpretations of Sharia, which included banning television, music, and cinema, preventing girls from going to school after the age of ten and letting men grow beards, and reports documenting the terrible violation of human rights in Afghanistan.

In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed two ancient Buddha statues, the largest of their kind in the world.

That move sparked international anger against the Taliban, but only a drop in a barrage that would rain down Afghanistan with thousands of missiles after several months.

On September 11, 2001, the tragedy that lost about 3,000 people was the destruction of the World Trade Center in America.

Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attacks

September 11 Attack

The organization expelled from Sudan in 1996, declaring war against America and its allies, found a new foothold in Afghanistan, with the welcome and care of the Taliban, which refused to hand over bin Laden after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE withdrew their recognition of the Taliban government, leaving Pakistan as the only country to recognize it.

In October 2001, a US-led military coalition launched a war on Afghanistan. Kabul fell to the Americans and the Northern Forces Alliance, which consisted of former warlords opposed to the Taliban.

The Taliban regime collapsed, and its fighters disappeared for months among Afghan villages and mountains.

But the movement did not die.

Its influence re-emerged with the help of the Pakistani security establishment. While the movement was earning millions of dollars from the drug trade, it re-mobilized its fighters, but this time under a different slogan: fighting the American invasion.

In March 2002, two American helicopters were shot down by Taliban fighters

This operation was an open call to mobilize supporters of the movement, which continued to target foreign and government forces

In September 2002, an assassination attempt against the interim president and appointed Hamid Karzai, and the Taliban movement was accused of masterminding the attempt.

In 2003, the movement shot down an American helicopter, and the four soldiers on board were killed.

Months later, the commander of the international peacekeeping forces stated that the Taliban movement now controls a quarter of the area of ​​Afghanistan.

In October 2004, Hamid Karzai was elected president of Afghanistan after surviving a second assassination attempt, in which the Taliban movement is also accused.

In the following years, the movement launched several suicide attacks, the intensity of which escalated between 2005 and 2006, and the movement kidnapped 23 South Koreans, most of them women, while the movement’s attacks against foreign forces increased, which announced the killing of about 3000 of its soldiers since the occupation of Afghanistan until 2009.

At that time, George Bush Jr. left the White House after the end of his second term while leaving America and its allies in the quagmire of wandering in Afghanistan.

His successor, Barack Obama, comes and declares, "For many of you, this will be your last tour of Afghanistan. The Afghans will take full responsibility for their security, and our combat mission will be over."

In 2014, Washington and the Taliban, mediated by Qatar, reached a deal under which an American soldier held captive by the movement for 5 years was released in exchange for the release of 5 Taliban leaders who had been detained in Guantanamo.

By the end of 2014, NATO had ended its combat missions in Afghanistan

In January 2015, the White House refused to classify the Taliban as a terrorist organization, and months later, Pakistan hosted the first direct talks between the movement and the recognized government in Kabul. Still, the dialogue soon stopped before the Taliban announced in July 2015 the death of its first leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar.

The movement said that he had died two years before this announcement. Still, it had hidden the news, and the Shura Council unanimously elected Mullah Akhtar Mansour as the movement's new leader, who was killed the following year in an American raid.

Mullah Hebatullah appointed Akhundzada as the third leader of the movement

In mid-2018, the Americans and the Taliban began negotiations in Doha, but they stopped several times after the American forces were attacked by the Taliban, before returning in 2019 and the United States and the Taliban reached a draft agreement that guaranteed the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan

On the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the US Secretary of State in Doha oversaw the start of negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban to share power, after it signed a historic agreement with Washington with the Taliban to withdraw foreign forces in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a center for any anti-American activity.

In April 2021, US President Joe Biden announced that the withdrawal from Afghanistan would begin in May 2021 and end in September from the same world, thus ending the longest American war in history.

Coinciding with the gradual American withdrawal, the Taliban movement began to advance in the rural districts and consolidated its control over the main highways.

In the following month, the government forces in those areas realized that they had become besieged and that the government's promises of reinforcements and supplies were in vain, as the cities fell successively under the control of the Taliban, who did not face any significant resistance from the government forces.

In August 2021, history was repeating itself.

Taliban fighters reached the entrances to the capital, Kabul, and besieged it after the complete collapse of the government forces in the country.

When government officials spoke of a peaceful transfer of power, the Afghan president submitted his resignation and fled the country. The movement seized the presidential palace without resistance from government forces and began presenting itself with a new, unbelievable face.

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