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{{Distinguish|Talidan|Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{Use dmy dates|date=January 2019}}{{short description|Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan}}

  • Deobandi fundamentalismWEB,weblink Did you know that there are two different Taliban groups?, 1 April 2013,, Deobandi Islam: The Religion of the Taliban U. S. Navy Chaplain Corps, 15 October 2001BOOK, Maley, William, Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban, 2001, C Hurst & Co, 978-1-85065-360-8, 14, WEB,weblink Taliban - Oxford Islamic Studies Online,,
  • PashtunwaliRashid, Taliban (2000)WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 9 November 2010, Why are Customary Pashtun Laws and Ethics Causes for Concern? &124; Center for Strategic and International Studies,, 19 October 2010, 18 August 2014, WEB,weblink Understanding taliban through the prism of Pashtunwali code, CF2R, 30 November 2013, 18 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 August 2014,
  • Religious nationalismWEB, Afghan Taliban,weblink National Counterterrorism Center, 7 April 2015, live,weblink" title="">weblink 9 May 2015,
  • 1994–1996 (militia)
  • 1996–2001 (government)
  • 2002–present (insurgency){edih}|headquarters =
  • Kandahar, Afghanistan (1996–2001)
  • Quetta, PakistanWEB,weblink Quetta – The Headquarters of the Afghan Taliban, Combating Terrorism Center at Westpoint, United States, 15 May 2009, 6 February 2016, WEB,weblink Pakistan: Headquarters of the Taliban, Susanne, Koelbl, 24 November 2006, 21 January 2018, Spiegel Online, WEB,weblink Quetta appears to be Taliban headquarters: Holbrooke,, 21 January 2018,
  • Peshawar, PakistanWEB,weblink The Peshawar women fighting the Taliban: 'We cannot trust anyone', Billy, Briggs, 13 October 2015, the Guardian, 21 January 2018,
230px){{legend|#ebc0b3|Under control of the Afghan Government, NATO, and Allies}}{{legend|#ffffff|Under control of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Allies}}{{legend|#b3b2ae|Under control of the Islamic State (ISIL) and (:en:Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan|Allies)}}
  • 45,000 (2001 est.)WEB,weblink Taliban and the Northern Alliance, US Gov Info,, 26 November 2009,
  • 11,000 (2008 est.)9/11 seven years later: US 'safe,' South Asia in turmoil {{Webarchive|url= |date=10 January 2015 }}. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  • 36,000 (2010 est.)NEWS,weblink London, The Times, MajorGeneral Richard Barrons puts Taleban fighter numbers at 36000, 3 March 2010, Fiona, Hamilton, Sam, Coates, Michael, Savage,
  • 60,000 (2014 est.)WEB,weblink Despite Massive Taliban Death Toll No Drop in Insurgency, Voice of America, Akmal Dawi, 17 July 2014, }}|previous = Students of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam|allies =
State allies
  • {{flag|Pakistan}} (Overtly until 2001, allegedly at present)WEB,weblink The Taliban - Mapping Militant Organizations,, 20 February 2019, NEWS, New York Times, Taliban Leader Feared Pakistan Before He Was Killed
  • {{flag|Qatar}} (allegedly)WEB, Qatar's Dirty Hands,weblink August 3, 2017, National Review, NEWS, Pajhwok Afghan News, August 7, 2017,weblink Saudi has evidence Qatar supports Taliban: Envoy,
  • {{flag|Iran}} (allegedly)NEWS, Middle East Institute, Iranian Support for Taliban Alarms Afghan Officials, 9 January 2017,weblink Both Tehran and the Taliban denied cooperation during the first decade after the US intervention, but the unholy alliance is no longer a secret and the two sides now unapologetically admit and publicize it., WEB, Iran Backs Taliban With Cash and Arms,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 11 June 2015, 13 June 2015,
  • {{flag|China}} (allegedly)WEB,weblink China’s Man in the Taliban, Small, Andrew, 23 August 2015, Foreign Policy Argument, 26 July 2019, WEB,weblink Taleban 'getting Chinese arms', Danahar, Paul, 3 September 2007, BBC, 26 July 2019,
  • {{flag|Russia}} (alleged by the US, denied)WEB,weblink Is Russia arming the Afghan Taliban?, BBC,
  • {{flag|Saudi Arabia}} (allegedly, until 2013)WEB,weblink What's Behind Saudi Arabia's Turn Away From the Taliban?, Samuel Ramani, The, Diplomat, The Diplomat, WEB,weblink Why did Saudi Arabia and Qatar, allies of the US, continue to fund the Taliban after the 2001 war?,, 19 April 2018,
Non-state allies State opponents{hide}plainlist|
  • {{flagicon|Afghanistan{edih} Islamic Republic of AfghanistanWEB,weblink Rare look at Afghan National Army's Taliban fight, BBC, 18 August 2014,
  • {{flagicon|United States of America}} United States of America
  • {{flagicon|United Kingdom}} United Kingdom
  • {{flagicon|NATO}} NATOWEB,weblink Taliban attack NATO base in Afghanistan – Central & South Asia, Al Jazeera English, 18 August 2014,
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of the International Security Assistance Force.svg}} ISAF}}
Non-state opponents {hide}plainlist| {{Campaignbox Afghan Civil War}}{{Deobandi}}The Taliban (}}, {{transl|ps|ṭālibān}} "students") or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA),NEWS,weblink US welcomes Qatar decision on Taliban name change, Post, The Jakarta, The Jakarta Post, 7 February 2017, en, are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country.BOOK,weblink Barnett Rubin, article, published by the Center on International Cooperation 2 November 2015 (originally published within Al Jazeera), 11 November 2015, ("...The Taliban ... have repeatedly said that their jihad is limited to their own country...")J. Eggers – weblink published by RAND Corporation [Retrieved 11 November 2015] Since 2016, the Taliban's leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.WEB,weblink U.S., Gulf States Blacklist Afghan Taliban, Iranian Officers For Terrorist Financing, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, WEB,weblink Quetta: Symbol of Pakistan’s war on militants or Taliban haven?, The National, From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power over roughly three quarters of Afghanistan, and enforced there a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. The Taliban emerged in 1994 as one of the prominent factions in the Afghan Civil WarWEB, The Taliban,weblink Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford University, 5 June 2016, and largely consisted of students (talib) from the Pashtun areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan who had been educated in traditional Islamic schools, and fought during the Soviet–Afghan War.BOOK, Masood Ashraf Raja, The Religious Right and the Talibanization of America,weblink 6 May 2016, Springer, 978-1-137-58490-8, 16–, Under the leadership of Mohammed Omar, the movement spread throughout most of Afghanistan, sequestering power from the Mujahideen warlords. The totalitarianWEB,weblink Download Limit Exceeded,, JOURNAL,weblink Islamism and Totalitarianism: Similarities and Differences, Michael, Whine, 1 September 2001, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 2, 2, 54–72, Taylor and Francis+NEJM, 10.1080/714005450,weblink Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was established in 1996 and the Afghan capital was transferred to Kandahar. It held control of most of the country until being overthrown after the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001 following the September 11 attacks. At its peak, formal diplomatic recognition of the Taliban's government was acknowledged by only three nations: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The group later regrouped as an insurgency movement to fight the American-backed Karzai administration and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the War in Afghanistan.The Taliban have been condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which has resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans, especially women.BOOK, Skain, Rosemarie, The women of Afghanistan under the Taliban, 2002, McFarland, 978-0-7864-1090-3, 41,
  • NEWS,weblink 18 November 2001, James Gerstenzan, Lisa Getter, Laura Bush Addresses State of Afghan Women, Los Angeles Times, 14 September 2012,
  • WEB,weblink 11 September 2007, Women's Rights in the Taliban and Post-Taliban Eras, PBS, A Woman Among Warlords, 14 September 2012, During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban and their allies 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.BOOK, Rashid, Ahmed, Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia, 2002, I.B.Tauris, 978-1-86064-830-4, 253, NEWS,weblink Taliban massacres outlined for UN, October 2001, Chicago Tribune, Edward A, Gargan, WEB,weblink Confidential UN report details mass killings of civilian villagers, 12 October 2001, Newsday, 2001,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 November 2002, {{citation |url= |agency=Associated Press |title=U.N. says Taliban starving hungry people for military agenda | date=7 January 1998}}BOOK, Goodson, Larry P., Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics and the Rise of the Taliban, 2002, University of Washington Press, 978-0-295-98111-6, 121, NEWS,weblink NPR, Re-Creating Afghanistan: Returning to Istalif, 1 August 2002, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 October 2013, According to the United Nations, the Taliban and their allies were responsible for 76% of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, 80% in 2011, and 80% in 2012.ISAF has participating forces from 39 countries, including all 26 NATO members. See {{Citation | publisher = NATO | url =weblink |archiveurl= |archivedate=9 November 2009 | title = ISAF Troop Contribution Placement | date = 5 December 2007}}BOOK, Skaine, Rosemarie, Women of Afghanistan in the Post-Taliban Era: How Lives Have Changed and Where They Stand Today, 2009, McFarland, 978-0-7864-3792-4, 41, BOOK, Shanty, Frank, The Nexus: International Terrorism and Drug Trafficking from Afghanistan, 2011, Praeger, 978-0-313-38521-6, 86–88, NEWS,weblink United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Citing rising death toll, UN urges better protection of Afghan civilians, 9 March 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2011, NEWS,weblink Katherine, Haddon, Afghanistan marks 10 years since war started, Agence France-Presse, 6 October 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 10 October 2011, NEWS,weblink The Weekly Standard, UN: Taliban Responsible for 76% of Deaths in Afghanistan, 10 August 2010, Taliban has also engaged in cultural genocide, destroying numerous monuments including the famous 1500-year old Buddhas of Bamiyan.BOOK,weblink The Concept of Cultural Genocide: An International Law Perspective, Novic, Elisa, 13 October 2016, Oxford University Press, 9780191090912, 1, en, BOOK,weblink Genocide: Approaches, Case Studies, and Responses, Kinloch, Graham Charles, Mohan, Raj P., 2005, Algora Publishing, 9780875863818, 220–229, 313–314, en, WEB,weblink GENERAL ASSEMBLY 'APPALLED' BY EDICT ON DESTRUCTION OF AFGHAN SHRINES; STRONGLY URGES TALIBAN TO HALT IMPLEMENTATION {{!, Meetings Coverage and Press Releases|last=|first=|date=9 March 2001||publisher=The United Nations|language=en|access-date=2 August 2018}}NEWS,weblink Cultural 'cleansing' exposes outrageous methods of Taliban {{!, The Japan Times|work=The Japan Times|access-date=2 August 2018|language=en-US}}
The Taliban's ideology has been described as combining an "innovative" form of sharia Islamic law based on Deobandi fundamentalism{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=132, 139}} and the militant Islamism and Salafi jihadism of Osama bin Laden with Pashtun social and cultural norms known as Pashtunwali,BOOK, Maley, William, The Afghanistan wars, 2002, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-0-333-80290-8, ?, {{page needed|date=December 2015}}BOOK, Shaffer, Brenda, The limits of culture: Islam and foreign policy, 2006, MIT Press, 978-0-262-69321-9, 277, illustrated, The Taliban's mindset is, however, equally if not more deaned by Pashtunwali, as most Taliban are Pashtun tribesmen.The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and military are widely alleged by the international community and the Afghan government to have provided support to the Taliban during their founding and time in power, and of continuing to support the Taliban during the insurgency. Pakistan states that it dropped all support for the group after the September 11 attacks.BOOK, Giraldo, Jeanne K., Terrorism Financing and State Responses: A Comparative Perspective, 2007, Stanford University Press, 978-0-8047-5566-5, 96, Pakistan provided military support, including arms, ammunition, fuel, and military advisers, to the Taliban through its Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), NEWS,weblink Pakistan's support of the Taliban, Human Rights Watch, Of all the foreign powers involved in efforts to sustain and manipulate the ongoing fighting [in Afghanistan], Pakistan is distinguished both by the sweep of its objectives and the scale of its efforts, which include soliciting funding for the Taliban, bankrolling Taliban operations, providing diplomatic support as the Taliban's virtual emissaries abroad, arranging training for Taliban fighters, recruiting skilled and unskilled manpower to serve in Taliban armies, planning and directing offensives, providing and facilitating shipments of ammunition and fuel, and ... directly providing combat support., 2000, WEB, Thomas, Joscelyn,weblink Admiral Mullen: Pakistani ISI sponsoring Haqqani attacks, The Long War Journal, During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, highlighted the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency's role in sponsoring the Haqqani Network – including attacks on American forces in Afghanistan. "The fact remains that the Quetta Shura [Taliban] and the Haqqani Network operate from Pakistan with impunity," Mullen said in his written testimony. "Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as US soldiers." Mullen continued: "For example, we believe the Haqqani Network—which has long enjoyed the support and protection of the Pakistani government and is, in many ways, a strategic arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Agency—is responsible for the September 13th attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.", 22 September 2011, 1 December 2011, NEWS, Barnes, Julian E., Pakistan Urges On Taliban,weblink The Wall Street Journal, 5 October 2010, Matthew Rosenberg, Habib Khan Totakhil, "the ISI wants us to kill everyone—policemen, soldiers, engineers, teachers, civilians—just to intimidate people,", US attack on Taliban kills 23 in Pakistan, The New York Times, 9 September 2008WEB,weblink Karzai accuses Pakistan of supporting terrorists, Joshua, Partlow, 3 October 2011, 21 January 2018,, In 2001, reportedly 2,500 Arabs under command of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden fought for the Taliban.


The word Taliban is Pashto, {{transl|ps|ṭālibān}}, meaning "students", the plural of ṭālib. This is a loanword from Arabic {{transl|ar|ṭālib}}, using the Persian plural ending -ān . In Arabic {{transl|ar|ṭālibān}} means not "students" but "two students", as it is a dual form, the Arabic plural being {{transl|ar|ṭullāb}}—occasionally causing some confusion to Arabic speakers. Since becoming a loanword in English, Taliban, besides a plural noun referring to the group, has also been used as a singular noun referring to an individual. For example, John Walker Lindh has been referred to as "an American Taliban", rather than "an American Talib". In the English language newspapers of Pakistan, the word Talibans is often used when referring to more than one Taliban. The spelling Taliban has come to be predominant over Taleban in English.WEB,weblink English Arabic Online Dictionary,, 28 December 2006, 2 September 2012, WEB, Adam Curtis,weblink From 'Taleban' to 'Taliban', BBC, 2 September 2012,


Soviet intervention (1978–1992)

File:Reagan sitting with people from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region in February 1983.jpg|thumb|President Ronald Reagan meeting with Afghan MujahideenAfghan MujahideenAfter the Soviet Union intervened and occupied Afghanistan in 1979, Islamic mujahideen fighters engaged in war with those Soviet forces.Pakistan's President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq feared that the Soviets were planning to invade also Balochistan, Pakistan, so he sent Akhtar Abdur Rahman to Saudi Arabia to garner support for the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation forces. A while later, the US CIA and Saudi Arabian General Intelligence Directorate (GID) funneled funding and equipment through the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency (ISI) to the Afghan mujahideen.WEB, Pakistan: A Plethora of Problems,weblink 22 December 2012, Global Security Studies, Winter 2012, Volume 3, Issue 1, by Colin Price, School of Graduate and Continuing Studies in Diplomacy, Norwich University, Northfield, VT., About 90,000 Afghans, including Mohammed Omar, were trained by Pakistan's ISI during the 1980s.The British Professor Carole Hillenbrand concluded that the Taliban have arisen from those US-Saudi-Pakistan-supported mujahideen: "The West helped the Taliban to fight the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan".{{Harvnb|Hillenbrand|2015|p=284}}

Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)

{{See also|Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)}}After the fall of the Soviet-backed regime of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, many Afghan political parties, but not Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, Hizb-e Wahdat, and Ittihad-i Islami, in April agreed on a peace and power-sharing agreement, the Peshawar Accord, which created the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed an interim government for a transitional period; but that Islamic State and its government were paralyzed right from the start, due to rivalling groups contending for total power over Kabul and Afghanistan.'The Peshawar Accord, April 25, 1992'. Website Text from 1997, purportedly sourced on The Library of Congress Country Studies (USA) and CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 22 December 2017.Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami party refused to recognize the interim government, and in April infiltrated Kabul to take power for itself, thus starting this civil war. In May, Hekmatyar started attacks against government forces and Kabul. Hekmatyar received operational, financial and military support from Pakistan's ISI.BOOK, Neamatollah Nojumi, The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War, and the Future of the Region, 2002 1st, Palgrave, New York, With that help, Hekmatyar's forces were able to destroy half of Kabul. Iran assisted the Hizb-e Wahdat forces of Abdul Ali Mazari. Saudi Arabia supported the Ittihad-i Islami faction.WEB,weblink Blood-Stained Hands, Past Atrocities in Kabul and Afghanistan's Legacy of Impunity, Human Rights Watch, BOOK, Amin Saikal, Amin Saikal, Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival, 2006, 1st, 352, I.B. Tauris & Co, London New York, 978-1-85043-437-5, Gutman, Roy (2008): How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban and the Hijacking of Afghanistan, Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace, 1st ed., Washington DC. The conflict between these militias also escalated into war.File:Aerial view of a section of Kandahar in 2013.jpg|thumb|The Taliban emerged in the southern Afghan city of KandaharKandaharDue to this sudden initiation of civil war, working government departments, police units or a system of justice and accountability for the newly created Islamic State of Afghanistan did not have time to form.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}} Atrocities were committed by individuals inside different factions.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}} Ceasefires, negotiated by representatives of the Islamic State's newly appointed Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud, President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi and later President Burhanuddin Rabbani (the interim government), or officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commonly collapsed within days. The countryside in northern Afghanistan, parts of which was under the control of Defense Minister Massoud remained calm and some reconstruction took place. The city of Herat under the rule of Islamic State ally Ismail Khan also witnessed relative calm.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}}Meanwhile, southern Afghanistan was neither under the control of foreign-backed militias nor the government in Kabul, but was ruled by local leaders such as Gul Agha Sherzai and their militias. The Taliban only first emerged on the scene in August 1994, announcing to liberate Afghanistan from its present corrupt leadership of warlords, and establish a pure Islamic society.{{citation needed|date=September 2019}}


{{See also|Taliban's rise to power}}


{{Further|Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)#1994}}The Taliban are a movement of religious students (talib) from the Pashtun areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan who were educated in traditional Islamic schools in Pakistan.WEB,weblink Afghanistan: The massacre in Mazar-i Sharif. (Chapter II: Background), Human Rights Watch, November 1998, 16 December 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 2 November 2008, There were also Tajik and Uzbek students, demarking them from the more ethnic-centric mujahideen groups "which played a key role in the Taliban’s rapid growth and success."Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan, Oxford University Press (2012), p. 122


Mullah Mohammad Omar in September 1994 in his hometown of Kandahar with 50 students founded the group.Matinuddin, Kamal, The Taliban Phenomenon, Afghanistan 1994–1997, Oxford University Press, (1999), pp. 25–26{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=25}}Omar had since 1992 been studying in the Sang-i-Hisar madrassa in Maiwand (northern Kandahar Province), was disappointed that Islamic law had not been installed in Afghanistan after the ousting of communist rule, and now with his group pledged to rid Afghanistan of warlords and criminals.'The Taliban'. Mapping Militant Organizations. Stanford University. Updated 15 July 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2017.Within months, 15,000 students, often Afghan refugees, from religious schools or madrasas – one source calls them Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-run madrasas – in Pakistan joined the group.The US government covertly provided violent schoolbooks filled with militant Islamic teachings and jihad and images of weapons and soldiers in an effort to inculcate in children anti-Soviet insurgency and hate for foreigners. The Taliban used the American textbooks but scratched out human faces in keeping with strict fundamentalist interpretation. The United States Agency for International Development gave millions of dollars to the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the 1980s to develop and publish the textbooks in local languages.Washington Post, 23 March 2002, "From U.S., the ABC's of Jihad"


Those early Taliban were motivated by the suffering among the Afghan people, which they believed resulted from power struggles between Afghan groups not adhering to the moral code of Islam; in their religious schools they had been taught a belief in strict Islamic law.BOOK, Ogata, Sadako N., The Turbulent Decade: Confronting the Refugee Crises of the 1990s, 2005, W. W. Norton & Company, 286,weblink 978-0-393-05773-7, NEWS, McNamara, Melissa, The Taliban In Afghanistan,weblink 5 June 2016, CBS, 31 August 2006,

Pakistani involvement

But sources state that Pakistan was heavily involved, already in October 1994, in the "creating" of the Taliban.BOOK, Shaffer, Brenda, The Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy,weblink 2006, MIT Press, 978-0-262-19529-4, 267, Pakistani involvement in creating the movement is seen as central, See further references in § Role of the Pakistani military, § Relations with Pakistan, and article Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)#1994 Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), strongly supporting the Taliban in 1994, hoped for a new ruling power in Afghanistan favorable to Pakistan. Even if the Taliban received financial support from Pakistan in 1995 and 1996, and even if "Pakistani support was forthcoming from an early stage of the Taliban movement’s existence, the connection was fragile and statements from both the Pakistani ISI as well as the Taliban early on demonstrated the uneasy nature of the relationship. The ISI and Pakistan aimed to exert control, while the Taliban leadership manoeuvred between keeping its independence and sustaining support." The main supporters in Pakistan were General Naseerullah Babar, who mainly thought in terms of geopolitics (opening trade routes to Central Asia), and Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), as "the group represented Deobandism and aimed to counter the influence of the Jama’at-e Islami and growing Wahhabism."Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan, Oxford University Press (2012), pp. 121-122On 3 November 1994, the Taliban in a surprise attack conquered Kandahar City. Before 4 January 1995, they controlled 12 Afghan provinces.Militias controlling the different areas often surrendered without a fight. Omar's commanders were a mixture of former small-unit military commanders and madrassa teachers.BOOK, Felbab-Brow, Vanda, Shooting up: counterinsurgency and the war on drugs, 2010, Brookings Institution Press, 978-0-8157-0328-0, 122, {{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=27–29}}.{{Harvnb |Rashid|2000|p=29}}{{Harvnb | Goodson|2001 | p = 114}}At these stages, the Taliban were popular, because they stamped out corruption, curbed lawlessness, and made the roads and area safe.

1995 – September 1996

{{Further|Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)#1995}}(File:Afghanistan politisch 1996.png|thumb|Map showing political control in Afghanistan in late 1996, following the capture of Kabul by the Taliban)In a bid to establish their rule over all Afghanistan, the Taliban started shelling Kabul in early 1995.Amnesty International. "Document – Afghanistan: further information on fear for safety and new concern: deliberate and arbitrary killings: civilians in Kabul". 16 November 1995 Accessed at The Taliban first suffered a devastating defeat against government forces of the Islamic State of Afghanistan under the command of Ahmad Shah Massoud.On 26 September 1996, as the Taliban prepared for another major offensive, Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul to continue anti-Taliban resistance in the northeastern Hindu Kush mountains instead of engaging in street battles in Kabul. The Taliban entered Kabul on 27 September 1996 and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Analysts described the Taliban then as developing into a proxy force for Pakistan's regional interests.WEB,weblink II. Background, Human Rights Watch, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 November 2008, Reports 1998, Afghan, WEB, 2007,weblink Documents Detail Years of Pakistani Support for Taliban, Extremists, George Washington University, Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin, 2005), 14.WEB,weblink The Taliban, Marcin, Gary, 1998, King's College (Pennsylvania), King's College, 26 September 2011,

Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996–2001)

The military goal of the Taliban during the period 1995 to 2001 was to return the order of Abdur Rahman (the Iron Emir) by the re-establishment of a state with Pashtun dominance within the northern areas.BOOK,weblink Brian Glyn Williams, B.G. Williams 12 May 2013, work, published by Routledge – Taylor & Francis group, 12 November 2015, By 1998, the Taliban's Emirate controlled 90% of Afghanistan.In December 2000, the UNSC in Resolution 1333, recognizing humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, condemning the use of Taliban territory for training of "terrorists" and Taliban providing safe haven to Osama bin Laden, issued severe sanctions against Afghanistan under Taliban control.UNSC Resolution 1333, 19 December 2000 (sanctions against Taliban territory). Retrieved 26 September 2017.In October 2001, the United States, with allies including the Afghan Northern Alliance, invaded Afghanistan and routed the Taliban regime. The Taliban leadership fled into Pakistan.

Afghanistan during Taliban rule

When the Taliban took power in 1996, twenty years of continuous warfare had devastated Afghanistan's infrastructure and economy. There was no running water, little electricity, few telephones, functioning roads or regular energy supplies. Basic necessities like water, food, housing and others were in desperately short supply. In addition, the clan and family structure that provided Afghans with a social/economic safety net was also badly damaged. Afghanistan's infant mortality was the highest in the world. A full quarter of all children died before they reached their fifth birthday, a rate several times higher than most other developing countries.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=126}}.UNCP Country Development Indicators, 1995.International charitable and/or development organisations (non-governmental organizations or NGOs) were extremely important to the supply of food, employment, reconstruction, and other services, but the Taliban proved highly suspicious towards the 'help' those organizations offered (see § United Nations and NGOs). With one million plus deaths during the years of war, the number of families headed by widows had reached 98,000 by 1998. In Kabul, where vast portions of the city had been devastated by rocket attacks, more than half of its 1.2 million people benefited in some way from NGO activities, even for drinking water. The civil war and its never-ending refugee stream continued throughout the Taliban's reign. The Mazar, Herat, and Shomali valley offensives displaced more than three-quarters of a million civilians, using "scorched earth" tactics to prevent them from supplying the enemy with aid.JOURNAL, Quoting the ICRC, History Compass, 3, **,, 2005, 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2005.00141.x, Nichols, Robert, {{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=72}}.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=64, 78}}.Taliban decision-makers, particularly Mullah Omar, seldom if ever talked directly to non-Muslim foreigners, so aid providers had to deal with intermediaries whose approvals and agreements were often reversed. Around September 1997 the heads of three UN agencies in Kandahar were expelled from the country after protesting when a female attorney for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees was forced to talk from behind a curtain so her face would not be visible.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=65}}.When the UN increased the number of Muslim women staff to satisfy Taliban demands, the Taliban then required all female Muslim UN staff traveling to Afghanistan to be chaperoned by a mahram or a blood relative.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=71}}. In July 1998, the Taliban closed "all NGO offices" by force after those organizations refused to move to a bombed-out former Polytechnic College as ordered.Aid agencies pull out of Kabul The building had neither electricity or running water. One month later the UN offices were also shut down.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=71–72}}. As food prices rose and conditions deteriorated, Planning Minister Qari Din Mohammed explained the Taliban's indifference to the loss of humanitarian aid:

Role of the Pakistani military

The Taliban were largely founded by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence beginning in 1994; the I.S.I. used the Taliban to establish a regime in Afghanistan which would be favorable to Pakistan, as they were trying to gain strategic depth. Since the creation of the Taliban, the ISI and the Pakistani military have given financial, logistical and military support.BOOK, Shaffer, Brenda, The Limits of Culture: Islam and Foreign Policy, 2006, MIT Press, 978-0-262-69321-9, 267, Pakistani involvement in creating the movement is seen as central, BOOK, Forsythe, David P., Encyclopedia of human rights, 2009, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-533402-9, 2, Volume 1, In 1994 the Taliban was created, funded and inspired by Pakistan, BOOK, Gardner, Hall, American global strategy and the 'war on terrorism', 2007, Ashgate, 978-0-7546-7094-0, 59, BOOK, Jones, Owen Bennett, Pakistan: eye of the storm, 2003, Yale University Press, 978-0-300-10147-8, 240, The ISI's undemocratic tendencies are not restricted to its interference in the electoral process. The organisation also played a major role in creating the Taliban movement., BOOK, Randal, Jonathan, Osama: The Making of a Terrorist, 2005, I.B.Tauris, 978-1-84511-117-5, 26, Pakistan had all but invented the Taliban, the so-called Koranic students, BOOK, Peiman, Hooman, Falling Terrorism and Rising Conflicts, 2003, Greenwood, 978-0-275-97857-0, 14, Pakistan was the main supporter of the Taliban since its military intelligence, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) formed the group in 1994, BOOK, Hilali, A. Z., US-Pakistan relationship: Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, 2005, Ashgate, 978-0-7546-4220-6, 248, BOOK, Rumer, Boris Z., Central Asia: a gathering storm?, 2002, M. E. Sharpe, 978-0-7656-0866-6, 103, BOOK, Pape, Robert A, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It, 2010, University of Chicago Press, 978-0-226-64560-5, 140–141, BOOK, Harf, James E., The Unfolding Legacy of 9/11, 2004, University Press of America, 978-0-7618-3009-2, 122, Mark Owen Lombard, BOOK, Hinnells, John R., Religion and violence in South Asia: theory and practice, 2006, Routledge, 978-0-415-37290-9, 154, BOOK, Boase, Roger, Islam and Global Dialogue: Religious Pluralism and the Pursuit of Peace, 2010, Ashgate, 978-1-4094-0344-9, 85, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency used the students from these madrassas, the Taliban, to create a favourable regime in Afghanistan, BOOK, Armajani, Jon, Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics, 2012, Wiley-Blackwell, 978-1-4051-1742-5, 48, BOOK, Bayo, Ronald H., Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans, 2011, Greenwood, 978-0-313-35786-2, 8, BOOK, Goodson, Larry P., Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics and the Rise of the Taliban, 2002, University of Washington Press, 978-0-295-98111-6, 111, Pakistani support for the Taliban included direct and indirect military involvement, logistical support, According to Pakistani Afghanistan expert Ahmed Rashid, "between 1994 and 1999, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan" on the side of the Taliban. Peter Tomsen stated that up until 9/11 Pakistani military and ISI officers along with thousands of regular Pakistani armed forces personnel had been involved in the fighting in Afghanistan.BOOK, Maley, William, The Afghanistan wars, 2009, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-0-230-21313-5, 288, BOOK, Tomsen, Peter, Wars of Afghanistan, 2011, PublicAffairs, 978-1-58648-763-8, 322, During 2001, according to several international sources, 28,000–30,000 Pakistani nationals, 14,000–15,000 Afghan Taliban and 2,000–3,000 Al-Qaeda militants were fighting against anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan as a roughly 45,000 strong military force. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and Bin Laden against the forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Of the estimated 28,000 Pakistani nationals fighting in Afghanistan, 8,000 were militants recruited in madrassas filling regular Taliban ranks. The document further states that the parents of those Pakistani nationals "know nothing regarding their child's military involvement with the Taliban until their bodies are brought back to Pakistan". A 1998 document by the US State Department confirms that "20–40 percent of [regular] Taliban soldiers are Pakistani." According to the State Department report and reports by Human Rights Watch, the other Pakistani nationals fighting in Afghanistan were regular Pakistani soldiers, especially from the Frontier Corps but also from the army providing direct combat support.NEWS,weblink Pakistan's support of the Taliban, Human Rights Watch, 2000, BOOK, Edward Girardet, Killing the Cranes: A Reporter's Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan, 3 August 2011, 416, Chelsea Green Publishing, {{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=91}}WEB, 2007,weblink Inside the Taliban, National Geographic Society, Human Rights Watch wrote in 2000:On 1 August 1997, the Taliban launched an attack on Sheberghan, the main military base of Abdul Rashid Dostum. Dostum has said the reason the attack was successful was due to 1500 Pakistani commandos taking part and that the Pakistani air force also gave support.BOOK, Clements, Frank, Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia, 2003, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-402-8, 54, In 1998, Iran accused Pakistan of sending its air force to bomb Mazar-i-Sharif in support of Taliban forces and directly accused Pakistani troops for "war crimes at Bamiyan". The same year, Russia said Pakistan was responsible for the "military expansion" of the Taliban in northern Afghanistan by sending large numbers of Pakistani troops, some of whom had subsequently been taken as prisoners by the anti-Taliban United Front.NEWS,weblink Afghanistan: Arena for a New Rivalry, Constable, Pamela, The Washington Post, 16 September 1998, NEWS,weblink Pak involved in Taliban offensive – Russia, Express India, 1998, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 January 2005, During 2000, the UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo against military support to the Taliban, with UN officials explicitly singling out Pakistan. The UN secretary-general implicitly criticized Pakistan for its military support and the Security Council stated it was "deeply distress[ed] over reports of involvement in the fighting, on the Taliban side, of thousands of non-Afghan nationals". In July 2001, several countries, including the United States, accused Pakistan of being "in violation of U.N. sanctions because of its military aid to the Taliban". The Taliban also obtained financial resources from Pakistan. In 1997 alone, after the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, Pakistan gave $30 million in aid and a further $10 million for government wages.NEWS,weblink Afghanistan & the United Nations, United Nations, 2012, NEWS,weblink U.S. presses for bin Laden's ejection, The Washington Times, 2001, BOOK, Byman, Daniel, Deadly connections: states that sponsor terrorism, 2005, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-83973-0, 195, During 2000, British Intelligence reported that the ISI was taking an active role in several Al-Qaeda training camps. The ISI helped with the construction of training camps for both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. From 1996 to 2001 the Al-Qaeda of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri became a state within the Taliban state. Bin Laden sent Arab and Central Asian Al-Qaeda militants to join the fight against the United Front, among them his Brigade 055.BOOK, Atkins, Stephen E., The 9/11 Encyclopedia, 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-59884-921-9, 540, BOOK, Litwak, Robert, Regime change: U.S. strategy through the prism of 9/11, 2007, Johns Hopkins University Press, 978-0-8018-8642-3, 309,weblink BOOK, McGrath, Kevin, Confronting Al-Qaeda, 2011, Naval Institute Press, 978-1-59114-503-5, 138, the Pakistani military's Inter-services Intelligence Directorate (IsI) provided assistance to the taliban regime, to include its military and al Qaeda–related terrorist training camps, WEB, 2008,weblink831story_31-8-2008_pg3_4, Book review: The inside track on Afghan wars by Khaled Ahmed, Daily Times (Pakistan), Daily Times, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 October 2013, WEB,weblink Brigade 055, CNN, dead,weblink 19 July 2015, The role of the Pakistani military has been described by international observers as well as by the anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud as a "creeping invasion".

Anti-Taliban resistance under Massoud

File:Afghanistan politisch 2000.png|thumb|The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Northern AllianceNorthern AllianceAhmad Shah Massoud and Abdul Rashid Dostum, former enemies, created the United Front (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban that were preparing offensives against the remaining areas under the control of Massoud and those under the control of Dostum. The United Front included beside the dominantly Tajik forces of Massoud and the Uzbek forces of Dostum, Hazara troops led by Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq and Pashtun forces under the leadership of commanders such as Abdul Haq and Haji Abdul Qadir. Notable politicians and diplomats of the United Front included Abdul Rahim Ghafoorzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Massoud Khalili. From the Taliban conquest of Kabul in September 1996 until November 2001 the United Front controlled roughly 30% of Afghanistan's population in provinces such as Badakhshan, Kapisa, Takhar and parts of Parwan, Kunar, Nuristan, Laghman, Samangan, Kunduz, Ghōr and Bamyan.After longstanding battles, especially for the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Abdul Rashid Dostum and his Junbish forces were defeated by the Taliban and their allies in 1998. Dostum subsequently went into exile. Ahmad Shah Massoud remained the only major anti-Taliban leader inside Afghanistan who was able to defend vast parts of his territory against the Taliban.In the areas under his control Massoud set up democratic institutions and signed the Women's Rights Declaration. In the area of Massoud, women and girls did not have to wear the Afghan burqa. They were allowed to work and to go to school. In at least two known instances, Massoud personally intervened against cases of forced marriage.BOOK, Marcela Grad, Marcela Grad, Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader, 1 March 2009, 310, Webster University Press, |Ahmad Shah Massoud|2001}}Afghan traditions would need a generation or more to overcome and could only be challenged by education, he said. Humayun Tandar, who took part as an Afghan diplomat in the 2001 International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, said that "strictures of language, ethnicity, region were [also] stifling for Massoud. That is why ... he wanted to create a unity which could surpass the situation in which we found ourselves and still find ourselves to this day." This applied also to strictures of religion. Jean-José Puig describes how Massoud often led prayers before a meal or at times asked his fellow Muslims to lead the prayer but also did not hesitate to ask a Christian friend Jean-José Puig or the Jewish Princeton University Professor Michael Barry: "Jean-José, we believe in the same God. Please, tell us the prayer before lunch or dinner in your own language."Human Rights Watch cites no human rights crimes for the forces under direct control of Massoud for the period from October 1996 until the assassination of Massoud in September 2001. 400,000 to one million Afghans fled from the Taliban to the area of Massoud.WEB, 2001,weblink Human Rights Watch Backgrounder, October 2001, Human Rights Watch, WEB, 2007,weblink Inside the Taliban, National Geographic Society, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 August 2011, National Geographic concluded in its documentary Inside the Taliban: "The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud."The Taliban repeatedly offered Massoud a position of power to make him stop his resistance. Massoud declined. He explained in one interview:|Ahmad Shah Massoud|2001}}The United Front in its weblink" title="">Proposals for Peace demanded the Taliban to join a political process leading towards nationwide democratic elections. In early 2001, Massoud employed a new strategy of local military pressure and global political appeals. Resentment was increasingly gathering against Taliban rule from the bottom of Afghan society, including the Pashtun areas. Massoud publicized their cause of "popular consensus, general elections and democracy" worldwide. At the same time he was very wary not to revive the failed Kabul government of the early 1990s. Already in 1999, he started the training of police forces which he trained specifically in order to keep order and protect the civilian population in case the United Front would be successful. Massoud stated:|Ahmad Shah Massoud|2001}}From 1999 onwards, a renewed process was set into motion by the Tajik Ahmad Shah Massoud and the Pashtun Abdul Haq to unite all the ethnicities of Afghanistan. While Massoud united the Tajiks, Hazara and Uzbeks as well as some Pashtun commanders under his United Front command, the famed Pashtun commander Abdul Haq received increasing numbers of defecting Pashtun Taliban as "Taliban popularity trended downward". Both agreed to work together with the exiled Afghan king Zahir Shah. International officials who met with representatives of the new alliance, which Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll referred to as the "grand Pashtun-Tajik alliance", said, "It's crazy that you have this today ... Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazara ... They were all ready to buy in to the process ... to work under the king's banner for an ethnically balanced Afghanistan." Senior diplomat and Afghanistan expert Peter Tomsen wrote: "The 'Lion of Kabul' [Abdul Haq] and the 'Lion of Panjshir' [Ahmad Shah Massoud] ... Haq, Massoud, and Karzai, Afghanistan's three leading moderates, could transcend the Pashtun–non-Pashtun, north–south divide." The most senior Hazara and Uzbek leader were also part of the process. In late 2000, Massoud officially brought together this new alliance in a meeting in Northern Afghanistan to discuss, among other things, "a Loya Jirga, or a traditional council of elders, to settle political turmoil in Afghanistan". That part of the Pashtun–Tajik–Hazara–Uzbek peace plan did eventually materialize. An account of the meeting by author and journalist Sebastian Junger says: "In 2000, when I was there ... I happened to be there in a very interesting time. ... Massoud brought together Afghan leaders from all ethnic groups. They flew from London, Paris, the USA, all parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India. He brought them all into the northern area where he was. He held a council of ... prominent Afghans from all over the world, brought there to discuss the Afghan government after the Taliban. ... we met all these men and interviewed them briefly. One was Hamid Karzai; I did not have any idea who he would end up being".BOOK, Steve Coll, Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, 23 February 2004, 558, Penguin Press HC, BOOK, Tomsen, Peter, Wars of Afghanistan, 2011, PublicAffairs, 978-1-58648-763-8, 565, MAGAZINE, 2011,weblink The lost lion of Kabul, The New Statesman, WEB, 2001,weblink Council of Afghan opposition, Corbis, BOOK, Marcela Grad, Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader, 1 March 2009, 65, Webster University Press, In early 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud with ethnic leaders from all of Afghanistan addressed the European Parliament in Brussels asking the international community to provide humanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan. He stated that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam" and that without the support of Pakistan and Bin Laden the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year. On this visit to Europe he also warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on US soil being imminent. The president of the European Parliament, Nicole Fontaine, called him the "pole of liberty in Afghanistan".WEB, 2001,weblink Massoud in the European Parliament 2001, EU media, dead,weblink 10 June 2015, WEB, 2001,weblink Massoud in the European Parliament 2001, EU media, Defense Intelligence Agency (2001) report GWU.eduWEB, "",weblink see video, YouTube, 5 March 2001, 31 October 2010, On 9 September 2001, Massoud, then aged 48, was the target of a suicide attack by two Arabs posing as journalists at Khwaja Bahauddin, in the Takhar Province of Afghanistan. Massoud, who had survived countless assassination attempts over a period of 26 years, died in a helicopter taking him to a hospital. The first attempt on Massoud's life had been carried out by Hekmatyar and two Pakistani ISI agents in 1975, when Massoud was only 22 years old. In early 2001, Al-Qaeda would-be assassins were captured by Massoud's forces while trying to enter his territory.NEWS,weblink Taliban Foe Hurt and Aide Killed by Bomb, Afghanistan, The New York Times, 10 September 2001, 27 August 2010, NEWS, Burns, John F.,weblink Threats and responses: assassination; Afghans, Too, Mark a Day of Disaster: A Hero Was Lost, Afghanistan, The New York Times, 9 September 2002, 27 August 2010, The funeral, though in a rather rural area, was attended by hundreds of thousands of mourning people.The assassination of Massoud is believed to have a connection to the September 11 attacks on US soil, which killed nearly 3000 people, and which appeared to be the terrorist attack that Massoud had warned against in his speech to the European Parliament several months earlier. John P. O'Neill was a counter-terrorism expert and the Assistant Director of the FBI until late 2001. He retired from the FBI and was offered the position of director of security at the World Trade Center (WTC). He took the job at the WTC two weeks before 9/11. On 10 September 2001, O'Neill told two of his friends, "We're due. And we're due for something big. ... Some things have happened in Afghanistan. [referring to the assassination of Massoud] I don't like the way things are lining up in Afghanistan. ... I sense a shift, and I think things are going to happen ... soon." O'Neill died on 11 September 2001, when the South Tower collapsed.NEWS, Boettcher, Mike,weblink How much did Afghan leader know?, CNN, 6 November 2003,weblink" title="">weblink 20 August 2008, WEB, 2002,weblink The Man Who Knew, Public Broadcasting Service, PBS, After 9/11, Massoud's United Front troops and United Front troops of Abdul Rashid Dostum (who returned from exile) ousted the Taliban from power in Kabul with American air support in Operation Enduring Freedom. From October to December 2001, the United Front gained control of much of the country and played a crucial role in establishing the post-Taliban interim government under Hamid Karzai.

US-led overthrow of Taliban Government and further battle against Taliban


(File:Taliban-Torkham-2001.jpg|thumb|Taliban border guard in 2001)On 20 September 2001, US president George W. Bush, speaking to a joint session of Congress, tentatively blamed Al-Qaeda for the 11 September attacks, stating that the "leadership of Al Qaeda ha[d] great influence in Afghanistan and support[ed] the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country". Bush said, "We condemn the Taliban regime", and went on to state, "Tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban", which he said were "not open to negotiation or discussion":NEWS,weblink Transcript of President Bush's address, CNN, 21 September 2001, 27 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 August 2010, Text: President Bush Addresses the Nation Washington Post, 20 September 2017.
  1. Deliver to the US all of the leaders of Al-Qaeda
  2. Release all foreign nationals that have been unjustly imprisoned
  3. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats, and aid workers
  4. Close immediately every terrorist training camp
  5. Hand over every terrorist and their supporters to appropriate authorities
  6. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps for inspection
The US petitioned the international community to back a military campaign to overthrow the Taliban. The UN issued two resolutions on terrorism after the 11 September attacks. The resolutions called on all states to "[increase] cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international conventions relating to terrorism" and specified consensus recommendations for all countries.(:en:United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368|United Nations S.C. Res. 1368, 12 September 2001){{Circular reference|date=February 2018}}(:en:United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373|S.C. Res. 1373, 28 September 2001){{Circular reference|date=February 2018}} According to a research briefing by the House of Commons Library, although the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) did not authorize the U.S.-led military campaign, it was "widely (although not universally) perceived to be a legitimate form of self-defense under the UN Charter" , and the council "moved quickly to authorize a military operation to stabilize the country" in the wake of the invasion.NEWS, Smith and Thorp, Ben and Arabella, The legal basis for the invasion of Afghanistan,weblink International Affairs and Defence Section, House of Commons Library, 26 February 2010, Moreover, on 12 September 2001, NATO approved a campaign against Afghanistan as self-defense against armed attack.WEB,weblink NATO, 12 September 2001, Statement by the North Atlantic Council, September 12, 2001, in Press Release 124., The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul Salem Zaeef, responded to the ultimatum by demanding "convincing evidence" that Bin Laden was involved in the attacks, stating "our position is that if America has evidence and proof, they should produce it". Additionally, the Taliban insisted that any trial of Bin Laden be held in an Afghan court. Zaeef also claimed that "4,000 Jews working in the Trade Center had prior knowledge of the suicide missions, and 'were absent on that day'." This response was generally dismissed as a delaying tactic, rather than a sincere attempt to cooperate with the ultimatum.Burns, John F. "Pakistan Says Taliban Demands Evidence That Bin Laden Is Tied to Attacks". The New York Times. 18 September 2001"US resolute on Bin Laden huntJones, Gary and Francis, Wayne. "WAR ON TERROR: MUSLIM ANGER". The Mirror. 22 September 2001NEWS, Taliban 'will try Bin Laden if US provides evidence',weblink The Guardian, 5 October 2001, London, "America Speaks Out: What's the Next Threat?" TalkBack Live. CNN. 1 October 2001Helen, Kennedy. "Taliban Mock U.S., Say They're Hiding Osama Warn Washington To Rethink Assault". Daily News. 1 October 2001On 22 September, the United Arab Emirates, and later Saudi Arabia, withdrew recognition of the Taliban as Afghanistan's legal government, leaving neighbouring Pakistan as the only remaining country with diplomatic ties. On 4 October, the Taliban agreed to turn bin Laden over to Pakistan for trial in an international tribunal that operated according to Islamic Sharia law, but Pakistan blocked the offer as it was not possible to guarantee his safety. On 7 October, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan offered to detain bin Laden and try him under Islamic law if the US made a formal request and presented the Taliban with evidence. A Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, rejected the Taliban offer, and stated that the US would not negotiate their demands.WEB,weblink Briefing 05: The Smoking Gun,, 8 October 2001, 2 September 2012, Bishop, P., Pakistan blocks bin Laden trial, The Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2001. Also known in print as "Pakistan halts secret plan for bin Laden trial".NEWS,weblink Taliban offers to try bin Laden in an Islamic court, CNN, 7 October 2001,weblink" title="">weblink 14 June 2004,

Coalition attack

File:SF Sgt Mario Vigil with SF and NA forces west of Konduz in November 2001.jpg|thumb|The Taliban were removed from power in October 2001 by a unified effort of United Islamic Front (Northern Alliance) ground forces, small US Special Operations teams and US air support.]]On 7 October, less than one month after the 11 September attacks, the US, aided by the United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries including several from the NATO alliance, initiated military action, bombing Taliban and Al-Qaeda-related camps.NEWS,weblink Afghanistan wakes after night of intense bombings. CNN: October 7, 2001, CNN, 2 September 2012, 7 October 2001, WEB, John Pike,weblink Operation Enduring Freedom,, 2 September 2012, The stated intent of military operations was to remove the Taliban from power, and prevent the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations.WEB, John Pike,weblink Intentions of U.S. military operation,, 7 October 2001, 2 September 2012, The CIA's elite Special Activities Division (SAD) units were the first US forces to enter Afghanistan (many different countries' intelligence agencies were on the ground or operating within theatre before SAD, and SAD are not technically military forces, but civilian paramilitaries). They joined with the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance) to prepare for the subsequent arrival of US Special Operations forces. The United Front (Northern Alliance) and SAD and Special Forces combined to overthrow the Taliban with minimal coalition casualties, and without the use of international conventional ground forces. The Washington Post stated in an editorial by John Lehman in 2006:}}On 14 October, the Taliban offered to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country in return for a bombing halt, but only if the Taliban were given evidence of bin Laden's involvement.NEWS,weblink Taliban offers to hand bin Laden to a neutral nation for trial, The Guardian, 2 September 2012, London, 14 October 2001, The US rejected this offer, and continued military operations. Mazar-i-Sharif fell to United Front troops of Ustad Atta Mohammad Noor and Abdul Rashid Dostum on 9 November, triggering a cascade of provinces falling with minimal resistance.In November 2001, before the capture of Kunduz by United Front troops under the command of Mohammad Daud Daud, thousands of top commanders and regular fighters of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agents and military personnel, and other volunteers and sympathizers in the Kunduz airlift, dubbed the Airlift of Evil by US military forces around Kunduz and subsequently used as a term in media reports, were evacuated and airlifted out of Kunduz by Pakistan Army cargo aircraft to Pakistan Air Force air bases in Chitral and Gilgit in Pakistan's Northern Areas.NEWS, Romesh, Ratnescar,weblink Afghanistan: One year on, 10 October 2002, 5 November 2011, Time, WEB, Michael, Moran,weblink The 'airlift of evil', 29 November 2001, 15 February 2008, MSNBC, WEB, Press Trust of India,weblink India protests airlift of Pakistani fighters from Kunduz, 24 January 2002, 5 November 2011, The Indian Express, NEWS, Marcus, George,weblink Kunduz celebrates end of siege, 26 November 2001, 15 February 2008, BBC News, BOOK, Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, Rashid, Ahmed, 2008, Viking Press, United States, 978-0-670-01970-0,weblink On the night of 12 November, the Taliban retreated south from Kabul. On 15 November, they released eight Western aid workers after three months in captivity. By 13 November, the Taliban had withdrawn from both Kabul and Jalalabad. Finally, in early December, the Taliban gave up Kandahar, their last stronghold, dispersing without surrendering.

Targeted killings

The United States has conducted targeted killings against Taliban leaders, mainly using Special Forces, and sometimes unmanned aerial vehicles. British forces also used similar tactics, mostly in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. During Operation Herrick, British special forces assassinated at least fifty high and local Taliban commanders in targeted killings in Helmand Province, which received both positive and negative coverage in the British media.NEWS, Larcombe, Duncan, The Sun (United Kingdom), The Sun, 11 February 2010, 23 September 2013, SAS assassinate Taliban commanders,weblink subscription, London, The Taliban also used targeted killings. In 2011 alone, they killed notable anti-Taliban leaders, such as former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, the police chief in northern Afghanistan, the commander of the elite anti-Taliban 303 Pamir Corps, Mohammad Daud Daud, and the police chief of Kunduz, Abdul Rahman Saidkhaili. All of them belonged to the Massoud faction of the United Front. According to Guantanamo Bay charge sheets, the United States Department of Defense believes the Taliban may maintain a 40-man undercover unit called "Jihad Kandahar", which is used for undercover operations, including targeted killings.OARDEC (2008). weblink" title="">Unclassified Summary of Administrative Review Board Proceedings (pp. 651–742). United States Department of Defense, pp. 685–690, retrieved 16 August 2013.

Taliban resurgence after 2001

{{Further|War in Afghanistan (2001–present)}}After the attacks of 11 September 2001 on the United States, Pakistan has been accused of continuing to support the Taliban, an allegation Pakistan denies.BOOK, Researcher, CQ, Issues in Terrorism and Homeland Security: Selections From CQ Researcher, 2010, Sage, 978-1-4129-9201-5, 196, With the fall of Kabul to anti-Taliban forces in November 2001, ISI forces worked with and helped Taliban militias who were in full retreat. In November 2001, Taliban, Al-Qaeda combatants and ISI operatives were safely evacuated from Kunduz on Pakistan Army cargo aircraft to Pakistan Air Force bases in Chitral and Gilgit in Pakistan's Northern Areas (see Kunduz airlift). Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf wrote in his memoirs that Richard Armitage, the former US deputy secretary of state, said Pakistan would be "bombed back to the stone-age" if it continued to support the Taliban, although Armitage has since denied using the "stone age" phrase.BOOK, Lansford, Tom, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Chronology and Reference Guide, 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-59884-419-1, 37, BOOK, Lall, Marie, International security and the United States: an encyclopedia, 2008, Praeger, 978-0-275-99254-5, 10, Volume 1, Karl R. DeRouen, BOOK, Zahid, Hussain, Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle With Militant Islam, 2007, Columbia University Press, 978-0-85368-769-6, 49, However, Pakistani intelligence agencies maintained some degree of cooperation with the Taliban elements fleeing the fighting., WEB, Seymour M., Hersh,weblink The Getaway, 28 January 2002, 15 February 2008, The New Yorker, BOOK, Morgan, Matthew J., A Democracy Is Born: An Insider's Account of the Battle Against Terrorism in Afghanistan, 2007, Praeger, 978-0-275-99999-5, 166, BOOK, Musharraf, Pervez, In the line of fire: a memoir, 2006, The Free Press, 978-0-7432-8344-1, 201,weblink BOOK, Gartenstein-Ross, Daveed, Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing the War on Terror, 2011, Wiley, 978-1-118-15095-5, 189, BOOK, Hansen, Stig Jarle, The Borders of Islam: Exploring Huntington's Faultlines, from Al-Andalus to the Virtual Ummah, 2010, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-15422-2, 77, BOOK, Riedel, Bruce O., Deadly embrace: Pakistan, America, and the future of the global jihad, 2011, Brookings Institution Press, 978-0-8157-0557-4, 65, (File:Neotaliban insurgency 2002-2006 en.png|thumb|Development of a then-small Taliban insurgency in 2002 until 2006, the year which saw an escalation in Taliban attacks)In May and June 2003, high Taliban officials proclaimed the Taliban regrouped and ready for guerrilla war to expel US forces from Afghanistan.NEWS, Taliban appears to be regrouped and well-funded, Tohid, Owias, Baldauf, Scott, yes, Christian Science Monitor, 8 May 2003,weblink 28 February 2007, WEB, Taliban regroups â€“ on the road, Tohid, Owias, Christian Science Monitor, 27 June 2003,weblink 28 February 2007, In late 2004, the then hidden Taliban leader Mohammed Omar announced an insurgency against "America and its puppets" (i.e. transitional Afghan government forces) to "regain the sovereignty of our country".NEWS, Asia: Afghanistan: Taliban Leader Vows Return, Gall, Carlotta, The New York Times, 13 November 2004,weblink 8 September 2017, On 29 May 2006, while according to American website The Spokesman-Review Afghanistan faced "a mounting threat from armed Taliban fighters in the countryside", a US military truck of a convoy in Kabul lost control and plowed into twelve civilian vehicles, killing one and injuring six people. The surrounding crowd got angry and a riot arose, lasting all day ending with 20 dead and 160 injured. When stone-throwing and gunfire had come from a crowd of some 400 men, the US troops had used their weapons "to defend themselves" while leaving the scene, a US military spokesman said. A correspondent for the Financial Times in Kabul suggested that this was the outbreak of "a ground swell of resentment" and "growing hostility to foreigners" that had been growing and building since 2004, and may also have been triggered by a US air strike a week earlier in southern Afghanistan killing 30 civilians, where she assumed that "the Taliban had been sheltering in civilian houses".WEB, npr: Truck Accident Sparks Riots in Afghanistan date=29 May 2006 TITLE = U.S. TROOPS FIRED AT MOB AFTER KABUL ACCIDENT NEWSPAPER = THE WASHINGTON POST DATE =1 JUNE 2006, 12 September 2017,weblink The continued support from tribal and other groups in Pakistan, the drug trade, and the small number of NATO forces, combined with the long history of resistance and isolation, indicated that Taliban forces and leaders were surviving. Suicide attacks and other terrorist methods not used in 2001 became more common. Observers suggested that poppy eradication, which destroys the livelihoods of rural Afghans, and civilian deaths caused by airstrikes encouraged the resurgence. These observers maintained that policy should focus on "hearts and minds" and on economic reconstruction, which could profit from switching from interdicting to diverting poppy production—to make medicine.WEB
, Archived copy
, 10 September 2013
, unfit
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 13 July 2007
, (PDF), pp. 77–90, archived from the original {{Webarchive|url= |date=11 July 2007 }} on 11 July 2007.WEB
, Archived copy
, 29 June 2007
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,weblink" title="">weblink
, 30 September 2007
, (PDF), archived from the original {{Webarchive|url= |date=1 January 2016 }} on 30 September 2007.Other commentators viewed Islamabad's shift from war to diplomacy as an effort to appease growing discontent.WEB,weblink Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU),, 22 February 1999, 2 September 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 September 2012, Because of the Taliban's leadership structure, Mullah Dadullah's assassination in May 2007 did not have a significant effect, other than to damage incipient relations with Pakistan.NEWS, Pakistan: Hello Al-Qaeda, goodbye America, Syed Saleem, Shahzad, Asia Times,weblink 8 September 2006, 12 September 2006, On 8 February 2009, US commander of operations in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal and other officials said that the Taliban leadership was in Quetta, Pakistan.By 2009, a strong resistance was created, known as Operation Al Faath, the Arabic word for "victory" taken from the Koran,NEWS,weblink Man on a mission. US defence Secretary Robert Gates is still hungry for the fight in Afghanistan, London, The Daily Telegraph, Toby, Harnden, 11 December 2010, NEWS,weblink Taliban, The New York Times, Carlotta, Gall, WEB,weblink Empowering "Soft" Taliban Over "Hard" Taliban: Pakistan's Counter-Terrorism Strategy by Sadia Sulaiman, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 August 2008, in the form of a guerrilla war. The Pashtun tribal group, with over 40 million members (including Afghans and Pakistanis) had a long history of resistance to occupation forces, so the Taliban may have comprised only a part of the insurgency. Most post-invasion Taliban fighters were new recruits, mostly drawn from local madrasas.In December 2009, Asia Times Online reported that the Taliban had offered to give the US "legal guarantees" that it would not allow Afghanistan to be used for attacks on other countries, and that the US had given no response.As of July 2016, the US Time magazine estimated 20% of Afghanistan to be under Taliban control with southernmost Helmand Province as their stronghold,MAGAZINE,weblink When War Is Just Another Day in Afghanistan, Time, 18 July 2016, 9 September 2017, while US and international Resolute Support coalition commanding General Nicholson in December 2016 likewise stated that 10% was in Taliban hands while another 26% of Afghanistan was contested between the Afghan government and various insurgency groups.WEB,weblink Carter visits Afghanistan as Obama plans handoff of 15-year war, CNN, 9 December 2016, 9 September 2017, In August 2017, reacting to a hostile speech of US President Trump, a Taliban spokesman retorted that the Taliban would keep fighting to free Afghanistan of "American invaders"."Trump calls out Pakistan, India as he pledges to 'fight to win' in Afghanistan". CNN, 24 August 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.

Condemned Taliban practices

Massacre campaigns

According to a 55-page report by the United Nations, the Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians. UN officials stated that there had been "15 massacres" between 1996 and 2001. They also said, that "[t]hese have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the [Taliban] Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar himself." "These are the same type of war crimes as were committed in Bosnia and should be prosecuted in international courts", one UN official was quoted as saying. The documents also reveal the role of Arab and Pakistani support troops in these killings. Bin Laden's so-called 055 Brigade was responsible for mass-killings of Afghan civilians. The report by the United Nations quotes "eyewitnesses in many villages describing Arab fighters carrying long knives used for slitting throats and skinning people". The Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, in late 2011 stated that cruel behaviour under and by the Taliban had been "necessary".WEB,weblink Taliban spokesman: Cruel behavior was necessary,, 31 December 2011, 1 September 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 April 2012, In 1998, the United Nations accused the Taliban of denying emergency food by the UN's World Food Programme to 160,000 hungry and starving people "for political and military reasons".NEWS,weblink Associated Press: U.N. says Taliban starving hungry people for military agenda,, 7 January 1998, 1 September 2012, The UN said the Taliban were starving people for their military agenda and using humanitarian assistance as a weapon of war.On 8 August 1998 the Taliban launched an attack on Mazar-i Sharif. Of 1500 defenders only 100 survived the engagement. Once in control the Taliban began to kill people indiscriminately. At first shooting people in the street, they soon began to target Hazaras. Women were raped, and thousands of people were locked in containers and left to suffocate. This ethnic cleansing left an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 dead. At this time ten Iranian diplomats and a journalist were killed. Iran assumed the Taliban had murdered them, and mobilized its army, deploying men along the border with Afghanistan. By the middle of September there were 250,000 Iranian personnel stationed on the border. Pakistan mediated and the bodies were returned to Tehran towards the end of the month. The killings of the Diplomats had been carried out by Sipah-e-Sahaba a Pakistani Sunni group with close ties to the ISI. They burned orchards, crops and destroyed irrigation systems, and forced more than 100,000 people from their homes with hundreds of men, women and children still unaccounted for.BOOK, Armajani, Jon, Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics, 2012, Wiley-Blackwell, 978-1-4051-1742-5, 207, BOOK, Riedel, Bruce, The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology, and Future, 2010, Brookings Institution, 978-0-8157-0451-5, 66–67, 2nd Revised, BOOK, Clements, Frank, Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia, 2003, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-402-8, 106, BOOK, Gutman, Roy, How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan, 2008, Institute of Peace Press, 978-1-60127-024-5, 142,weblink BOOK, Tripathi, Deepak, Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism, 2011, Potomac, 978-1-59797-530-8, 116, In a major effort to retake the Shomali plains from the United Front, the Taliban indiscriminately killed civilians, while uprooting and expelling the population. Among others, Kamal Hossein, a special reporter for the UN, reported on these and other war crimes. In Istalif, which was home to more than 45,000 people, the Taliban gave 24 hours' notice to the population to leave, then completely razed the town leaving the people destitute.BOOK, Coburn, Noah, Bazaar Politics: Power and Pottery in an Afghan Market Town, 2011, Stanford University Press, 978-0804776721, 13, In 1999 the town of Bamian was taken, hundreds of men, women and children were executed. Houses were razed and some were used for forced labor. There was a further massacre at the town of Yakaolang in January 2001. An estimated 300 people were murdered, along with two delegations of Hazara elders who had tried to intercede.BOOK, Maley, William, The Afghanistan wars, 2002, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-0-333-80290-8, 240, BOOK, Clements, Frank, Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia, 2003, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-402-8, 112, By 1999, the Taliban had forced hundreds of thousands of people from the Shomali Plains and other regions conducting a policy of scorched earth burning homes, farm land and gardens.

Human trafficking

Several Taliban and al-Qaeda commanders ran a network of human trafficking, abducting women and selling them into sex slavery in Afghanistan and Pakistan.NEWS,weblink Time (magazine), Time, Lifting The Veil On Taliban Sex Slavery, 10 February 2002, Time magazine writes: "The Taliban often argued that the restrictions they placed on women were actually a way of revering and protecting the opposite sex. The behavior of the Taliban during the six years they expanded their rule in Afghanistan made a mockery of that claim."The targets for human trafficking were especially women from the Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara and other ethnic groups in Afghanistan. Some women preferred to commit suicide over slavery, killing themselves. During one Taliban and al-Qaeda offensive in 1999 in the Shomali Plains alone, more than 600 women were kidnapped. Arab and Pakistani al-Qaeda militants with local Taliban forces, forced them into trucks and buses. Time magazine writes: "The trail of the missing Shomali women leads to Jalalabad, not far from the Pakistan border. There, according to eyewitnesses, the women were penned up inside Sar Shahi camp in the desert. The more desirable among them were selected and taken away. Some were trucked to Peshawar with the apparent complicity of Pakistani border guards. Others were taken to Khost, where bin Laden had several training camps." Officials from relief agencies say, the trail of many of the vanished women leads to Pakistan where they were sold to brothels or into private households to be kept as slaves.Not all Taliban commanders engaged in human trafficking. Many Taliban were opposed to the human trafficking operations conducted by al-Qaeda and other Taliban commanders. Nuruludah, a Taliban commander, is quoted as saying that in the Shomali Plains, he and 10 of his men freed some women who were being abducted by Pakistani members of al-Qaeda. In Jalalabad, local Taliban commanders freed women that were being held by Arab members of al-Qaeda in a camp.

Oppression of women

File:Taliban beating woman in public RAWA.jpg|right|thumb|Taliban religious police beating a woman in KabulKabul, Physicians for Human Rights, August 1998.|Physicians for Human Rights|1998}}The Taliban were condemned internationally for their brutal repression of women. In 2001 Laura Bush in a radio address condemned the Taliban's brutality to women. In areas they controlled the Taliban issued edicts which forbade women from being educated, girls were forced to leave schools and colleges. Those who wished to leave their home to go shopping had to be accompanied by a male relative, and were required to wear the burqa, a traditional dress covering the entire body except for a small screen to see out of. Those who appeared to disobey were publicly beaten. Sohaila, a young woman who was convicted of walking with a man who was not a relative, was charged with adultery. She was publicly flogged in Ghazi Stadium and received 100 lashes. The religious police routinely carried out inhumane abuse on women. Employment for women was restricted to the medical sector, because male medical personnel were not allowed to treat women and girls. One result of the banning of employment of women by the Taliban was the closing down in places like Kabul of primary schools not only for girls but for boys, because almost all the teachers there were women. Taliban restrictions became more severe after they took control of the capital. In February 1998, religious police forced all women off the streets of Kabul, and issued new regulations ordering people to blacken their windows, so that women would not be visible from the outside.Dupree Hatch, Nancy. "Afghan Women under the Taliban" in Maley, William. Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. London: Hurst and Company, 2001, pp. 145–166.BOOK, Wertheime, Molly Meijer, Leading Ladies of the White House: Communication Strategies of Notable Twentieth-Century First Ladies, 2004, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-0-7425-3672-2, 253, BOOK, Cooke, Miriam, Terror, Culture, Politics: 9/11 Reconsidere, 2006, Indiana University Press, 978-0-253-34672-8, 177, Daniel J. Sherman, BOOK, Moghadam, Valentine M., Modernizing women: gender and social change in the Middle East, 2003, Lynne Rienner, 978-1-58826-171-7, 266, 2nd Revised, BOOK, Massoumi, Mejgan, The fundamentalist city?: religiosity and the remaking of urban space, 2010, Routledge, 978-0-415-77935-7, 223, Nezar AlSayyad, BOOK, Skaine, Rosemarie, Women of Afghanistan in the Post-Taliban Era: How Lives Have Changed and Where They Stand Today, 2009, McFarland, 978-0-7864-3792-4, 57, Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban. Yale Nota Bene Books, 2000, p.106.Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban. Yale Nota Bene Books, 2000, p. 70.

Violence against Afghan civilians

According to the United Nations, the Taliban and its allies were responsible for 76% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2009, 75% in 2010 and 80% in 2011.BOOK, Kegley, Charles W., World Politics: Trend and Transformation, 2011, Cengage, 978-0-495-90655-1, 230, Shannon L Blanton, According to Human Rights Watch, the Taliban's bombings and other attacks which have led to civilian casualties "sharply escalated in 2006" when "at least 669 Afghan civilians were killed in at least 350 armed attacks, most of which appear to have been intentionally launched at non-combatants."WEB,weblink Human Rights News, Afghanistan: Civilians Bear Cost of Escalating Insurgent Attacks, Human Rights Watch, 17 April 2007, 2 September 2012, WEB,weblink The Consequences of Insurgent Attacks in Afghanistan, April 2007, Volume 19, No. 6(C), Human Rights Watch, 16 April 2007, 2 September 2012, The United Nations reported that the number of civilians killed by both the Taliban and pro-government forces in the war rose nearly 50% between 2007 and 2009. The high number of civilians killed by the Taliban is blamed in part on their increasing use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), "for instance, 16 IEDs have been planted in girls' schools" by the Taliban.WEB,weblink In Afghanistan, Taliban kills more civilians than US, 31 July 2009, Ben Arnoldy, In 2009, Colonel Richard Kemp, formerly Commander of British forces in Afghanistan and the intelligence coordinator for the British government, drew parallels between the tactics and strategy of Hamas in Gaza to those of the Taliban. Kemp wrote:Israel and the New Way of War {{webarchive|url= |date=26 December 2010 }}, The Journal of International Security Affairs, Spring 2010 – Number 18|Richard Kemp|Commander of British forces in Afghanistan}}

Intimidating and murdering aid workers

Taliban between 2008 and 2012 several times claimed to have assassinated Western and Afghani medical or aid workers in Afghanistan, either for fear of the vaccination of children against polio, or for suspicion that the 'medical workers' were in truth spies, or for suspecting them to be proselytizing Christianity.In August 2008, three Western women (British, Canadian, US) working for aid group 'International Rescue Committee' were murdered in Kabul. Taliban claimed to have killed them because they were foreign spies.NEWS,weblink UK charity worker killed in Kabul, BBC News, 20 October 2008, 7 October 2017, In October 2008, the British woman Gayle Williams working for Christian UK charity 'Serve Afghanistan' – focusing on training and education for disabled persons – was murdered near Kabul. Taliban claimed they killed her because her organisation "was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan". In all 2008 until October, 29 aid workers, 5 of whom non-Afghanis, were killed in Afghanistan.In August 2010, the Taliban claimed to have murdered 10 medical aid workers passing through Badakhshan Province on the way from Kabul to Nuristan Province — but also Afghan Islamic party/militia Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin has claimed those killings. The victims were six Americans, one Briton, one German and two Afghanis, working for self-proclaimed "non-profit, Christian organization" called 'International Assistance Mission'. Taliban said they murdered them because of proselytizing Christianity, having Bibles translated in Dari language in their possession when they were encountered. IAM contended afterwards that they "were not missionaries".'Hizb-i-Islami, Taliban both claim killing 10 medical workers in northern Afghanistan'. FDD's Long War Journal, 7 August 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2017.In December 2012, unidentified gunmen killed four female UN polio-workers in Karachi in Pakistan; Western news media suggested a connection with the outspoken Taliban objections against and suspicions about such 'polio vaccinations'."Gunmen kill 4 female polio workers in Pakistan" (18 December 2012), Yahoo! News, The Associated Press. Retrieved 10 September 2013.Eventually in 2012, a Pakistani Taliban commander in North Waziristan in Pakistan banned polio vaccinations,NEWS, Taliban Block Vaccinations in Pakistan, Walsh, D.,weblink The New York Times, 18 June 2012, 27 May 2013, and in March 2013, the Afghan government was forced to suspend vaccination efforts from the Nuristan Province because of a large Taliban influence in the province.NEWS, Taliban stopping polio vaccinations, says Afghan governor, Graham-Harrison, E.,weblink Guardian, 12 March 2013, 27 May 2013, London, But in May 2013, Taliban leaders changed their stance on polio vaccination, saying the vaccine is the only way to prevent polio and that they would work with immunisation volunteers so long as polio workers are "unbiased" and "harmonised with the regional conditions, Islamic values and local cultural traditions."NEWS, Taliban renounces war on anti-polio workers, Babakarkhail, Z., Nelson, D.,weblink The Telegraph, 13 May 2013, 27 May 2013, London, NEWS, Taliban pledge support for Afghan polio campaign, CBC News,weblink CBC News, 14 May 2013, 27 May 2013,


{{Islamism sidebar}}The Taliban's ideology has been described as an "innovative form of sharia combining Pashtun tribal codes,"Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, (2004). or Pashtunwali, with radical Deobandi interpretations of Islam favored by JUI and its splinter groups. Also contributing to the mix was the militant Islamism and extremist jihadism of Osama bin Laden.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=132, 139}}. Their ideology was a departure from the Islamism of the anti-Soviet mujahideen rulers{{Clarify|reason=|date=October 2017}} they replaced who tended to be mystical Sufis, traditionalists,{{Clarify|reason=|date=October 2017}} or radical Islamism{{Clarify|reason=|date=October 2017}} inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan).{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=87}}.According to journalist Ahmed Rashid, at least in the first years of their rule, the Taliban adopted Deobandi and Islamist anti-nationalist beliefs, and opposed "tribal and feudal structures," eliminating traditional tribal or feudal leaders from leadership roles.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=92}}.The Taliban strictly enforced their ideology in major cities like Herat, Kabul, and Kandahar. But in rural areas the Taliban had little direct control, and promoted village jirgas, so it did not enforce its ideology as stringently in rural areas.Griffiths 227.

(Deobandi) Islamic rules

The Taliban regime interpreted the sharia law as to forbid pork, alcohol, music, many types of consumer technology such as television, filming and the Internet as well as most forms of art such as paintings or photography, and female participation in sport.Waldman, Amy Men were forbidden to shave their beards, and required to wear a head covering.WEB,weblink US Country Report on Human Rights Practices – Afghanistan 2001,, 4 March 2002, 2 September 2012, The Taliban emphasized dreams as a means of revelation.Roy, Olivier, Globalized Islam, Columbia University Press, 2004, p. 239.Like Wahhabi and other Deobandis, the Taliban do not consider Shiites to be Muslims. The Shia in Afghanistan consist mostly of the Hazara ethnic group which totaled almost 10% of Afghanistan's population.{{citation|chapter-url= |title=Human Rights Watch Report, 'Afghanistan, the massacre in Mazar-e-Sharif', November 1998. |chapter=IV. Incitement of violence against Hazaras by governor Niazi |publisher=Human Rights Watch |accessdate=1 December 2011 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=19 October 2008 }}The Taliban were averse to debating doctrine with other Muslims. "The Taliban did not allow even Muslim reporters to question [their] edicts or to discuss interpretations of the Qur'an."{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=107}}.

Pashtun cultural influences

The Taliban frequently used the pre-Islamic Pashtun tribal code, Pashtunwali, in deciding certain social matters. Such is the case with the Pashtun practice of dividing inheritances equally among sons, even though the Qur'an clearly states that women are to receive one-half a man's share.WEB,weblink Peoples and Ethnic Groups – Pashtunwali: The Code,, WEB,weblink, 21 January 2018, According to Ali A. Jalali and Lester Grau, the Taliban "received extensive support from Pashtuns across the country who thought that the movement might restore their national dominance. Even Pashtun intellectuals in the West, who differed with the Taliban on many issues, expressed support for the movement on purely ethnic grounds."WEB,weblink Foreign Military Studies Office, "Whither the Taliban?" by Mr. Ali A. Jalali and Mr. Lester W. Grau,, 2 September 2012,

Bamyan Buddhas

(File:Taller Buddha of Bamiyan before and after destruction.jpg|thumb|right|Taller Buddha in 1963 and in 2008 after destruction)In 1999, Mullah Omar issued a decree protecting the Buddha statues at Bamyan, two 6th-century monumental statues of standing buddhas carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. But in March 2001, the statues were destroyed by the Taliban of Mullah Omar, following a decree stating: "all the statues around Afghanistan must be destroyed."NEWS, Luke Harding,weblink How the Buddha got his wounds, 3 March 2001, The Guardian, 27 August 2010, London, Yahya Massoud, brother of the anti-Taliban and resistance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, recalls the following incident after the destruction of the Buddha statues at Bamyan:}}


The Taliban ideology was not static. Before its capture of Kabul, members of the Taliban talked about stepping aside once a government of "good Muslims" took power and law and order were restored. The decision making process of the Taliban in Kandahar was modeled on the Pashtun tribal council (jirga), together with what was believed to be the early Islamic model. Discussion was followed by a building of a consensus by the believers.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=95}}.As the Taliban's power grew, decisions were made by Mullah Omar without consulting the jirga and without Omar's visits to other parts of the country. He visited the capital, Kabul, only twice while in power. Taliban spokesman Mullah Wakil explained:Decisions are based on the advice of the Amir-ul Momineen. For us consultation is not necessary. We believe that this is in line with the Sharia. We abide by the Amir's view even if he alone takes this view. There will not be a head of state. Instead there will be an Amir al-Mu'minin. Mullah Omar will be the highest authority and the government will not be able to implement any decision to which he does not agree. General elections are incompatible with Sharia and therefore we reject them.Interview with Taliban spokesman Mullah Wakil in Arabic magazine Al-Majallah, 1996-10-23.Another evolution of Taliban ideology was Mullah Omar 1999 decree calling for the protection of the Buddha statues at Bamyan and the March 2001 destruction of them."How the Buddha got his wounds," Guardian, 2001-03-03.

Explanation of ideology

The author Ahmed Rashid suggests that the devastation and hardship of the Soviet invasion and the following period influenced Taliban ideology.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=32}}. It is said that the Taliban did not include scholars learned in Islamic law and history. The refugee students, brought up in a totally male society, not only had no education in mathematics, science, history or geography, but also had no traditional skills of farming, herding, or handicraft-making, nor even knowledge of their tribal and clan lineages. In such an environment, war meant employment, peace meant unemployment. Dominating women simply affirmed manhood. For their leadership, rigid fundamentalism was a matter not only of principle, but also of political survival. Taliban leaders "repeatedly told" Rashid that "if they gave women greater freedom or a chance to go to school, they would lose the support of their rank and file."{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=111}}.File:Taliban execute Zarmeena in Kabul in1999 RAWA.jpg|thumb|November 1999 public executionpublic execution


The Taliban have been criticized for their strictness toward those who disobeyed their imposed rules, and Mullah Omar's taking of the title of Amir al-Mu'minin.Mullah Omar was criticised for calling himself Amir al-Mu'minin on the grounds that he lacked scholarly learning, tribal pedigree, or connections to the Prophet's family. Sanction for the title traditionally required the support of all of the country's ulema, whereas only some 1,200 Pashtun Taliban-supporting Mullahs had declared Omar the Amir. According to Ahmed Rashid, "no Afghan had adopted the title since 1834, when King Dost Mohammed Khan assumed the title before he declared jihad against the Sikh kingdom in Peshawar. But Dost Mohammed was fighting foreigners, while Omar had declared jihad against other Afghans."Another criticism was that the Taliban called their 20% tax on truckloads of opium "zakat", which is traditionally limited to 2.5% of the zakat-payers' disposable income (or wealth).{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=41–42}}.Taliban have been compared to the 7th-century Kharijites for developing extreme doctrines that set them apart from both mainstream Sunni and Shiʿa Muslims. The Kharijites were particularly noted for adopting a radical approach to takfir, whereby they declared other Muslims to be unbelievers and therefore deemed them worthy of death.NEWS,weblink Another battle with Islam's 'true believers', The Globe and Mail, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 19 August 2013, Wayback Machine, 19 August 2013, 21 January 2018, WEB,weblink Imam Mohamad Jebara: Fruits of the tree of extremism, Mohamad Jebara More Mohamad Jebara, Ottawa Citizen, In particular the Taliban have been accused of takfir towards Shia. After the August 1998 slaughter of 8000 mostly Shia Hazaras non-combatants at Mazar-i-Sharif, Mullah Niazi, the Taliban commander of the attack and the new governor of Mazar, declared from Mazar's central mosque:Last year you rebelled against us and killed us. From all your homes you shot at us. Now we are here to deal with you. The Hazaras are not Muslims and now have to kill Hazaras. You either accept to be Muslims or leave Afghanistan. Wherever you go we will catch you. If you go up we will pull you down by your feet; if you hide below, we will pull you up by your hair.WEB,weblink THE MASSACRE IN MAZAR-I SHARIF,, 21 January 2018,



{{See also|List of Taliban leaders}}Until his death in 2013, Mullah Mohammed Omar was the supreme commander of the Taliban. Mullah Akhtar Mansour was elected as his replacement in 2015,
  • NEWS,weblink Analysis: Who are the Taleban?, 20 December 2000, BBC News,
  • WEB,weblink From the article on the Taliban in Oxford Islamic Studies Online, Oxford Islamic Studies, 27 August 2010,
  • Mullah Omar: Taliban choose deputy Mansour as successor, BBC News, 30 July 2015 and following Mansour's killing in a May 2016 US drone strike, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada became the group's leader.WEB,weblink Afghan Taliban announce successor to Mullah Mansour, 26 May 2015, BBC News, 26 May 2016,


The Taliban initially enjoyed goodwill from Afghans weary of the warlords' corruption, brutality, and incessant fighting.Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim world / editor in chief, Richard C. Martin, Macmillan Reference USA : Thomson/Gale, c2004This popularity was not universal, particularly among non-Pashtuns.In 2001, the Taliban, de jure, controlled 85% of Afghanistan. De facto the areas under its direct control were mainly Afghanistan's major cities and highways. Tribal khans and warlords had de facto direct control over various small towns, villages, and rural areas.Griffiths 226.File:Taliban-herat-2001 retouched.jpg|upright|thumb|left|Taliban police patrolling the streets of HeratHeratRashid described the Taliban government as "a secret society run by Kandaharis ... mysterious, secretive, and dictatorial." They did not hold elections, as their spokesman explained:
Interview with Mullah Wakil, March 1996}}
They modeled their decision-making process on the Pashtun tribal council (jirga), together with what they believed to be the early Islamic model. Discussion was followed by a building of a consensus by the "believers". Before capturing Kabul, there was talk of stepping aside once a government of "good Muslims" took power, and law and order were restored.As the Taliban's power grew, decisions were made by Mullah Omar without consulting the jirga and without consulting other parts of the country. He visited the capital, Kabul, only twice while in power. Instead of an election, their leader's legitimacy came from an oath of allegiance ("Bay'ah"), in imitation of the Prophet and the first four Caliphs. On 4 April 1996, Mullah Omar had "the Cloak of the Prophet Mohammed" taken from its shrine for the first time in 60 years. Wrapping himself in the relic, he appeared on the roof of a building in the center of Kandahar while hundreds of Pashtun mullahs below shouted "Amir al-Mu'minin!" (Commander of the Faithful), in a pledge of support. Taliban spokesman Mullah Wakil explained:The Taliban were very reluctant to share power, and since their ranks were overwhelmingly Pashtun they ruled as overlords over the 60% of Afghans from other ethnic groups. In local government, such as Kabul city council{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=98}}. or Herat,{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=39–40}}. Taliban loyalists, not locals, dominated, even when the Pashto-speaking Taliban could not communicate with the roughly half of the population who spoke Dari or other non-Pashtun tongues. Critics complained that this "lack of local representation in urban administration made the Taliban appear as an occupying force."


Consistent with the governance of early Muslims was the absence of state institutions or "a methodology for command and control" that is standard today even among non-Westernized states. The Taliban did not issue press releases, policy statements, or hold regular press conferences. The outside world and most Afghans did not even know what their leaders looked like, since photography was banned.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=5}}. The "regular army" resembled a lashkar or traditional tribal militia force with only 25,000 men (of whom 11,000 were non-Afghans).Cabinet ministers and deputies were mullahs with a "madrasah education." Several of them, such as the Minister of Health and Governor of the State bank, were primarily military commanders who left their administrative posts to fight when needed. Military reverses that trapped them behind lines or led to their deaths increased the chaos in the national administration.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=100}}. At the national level, "all senior Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara bureaucrats" were replaced "with Pashtuns, whether qualified or not." Consequently, the ministries "by and large ceased to function."{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=101–102}}.The Ministry of Finance had neither a budget nor "qualified economist or banker." Mullah Omar collected and dispersed cash without bookkeeping.


According to the testimony of Guantanamo captives before their Combatant Status Review Tribunals, the Taliban, in addition to conscripting men to serve as soldiers, also conscripted men to staff its civil service.NEWS, Dixon, Robyn, Afghans in Kabul Flee Taliban, Not U.S. Raids,weblink 11 December 2012, Los Angeles Times, 13 October 2001,


{{See also|Economy of Afghanistan}}The Kabul money markets responded positively during the first weeks of the Taliban occupation (1996). But the Afghani soon fell in value. They imposed a 50% tax on any company operating in the country, and those who failed to pay were attacked. They also imposed a 6% import tax on anything brought into the country, and by 1998 had control of the major airports and border crossings which allowed them to establish a monopoly on all trade. By 2001 the per capita income of the 25 million population was under $200, and the country was close to total economic collapse. As of 2007 the economy had begun to recover, with estimated foreign reserves of three billion dollars and a 13% increase in economic growth.BOOK, Lansford, Tom, 9/11 and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Chronology and Reference Guide, 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-59884-419-1, 147, BOOK, Marsden, Peter, The Taliban: war, religion and the new order in Afghanistan, 1998, Zed Books, 978-1-85649-522-6, 51,weblink BOOK, Pugh, Michael C., War Economies in a Regional Context: Challenges of Transformation, 2004, Lynne Rienner, 978-1-58826-211-0, 48, Neil Cooper Jonathan Goodhand, BOOK, Castillo, Graciana del, Rebuilding War-Torn States: The Challenge of Post-Conflict Economic Reconstruction, 2008, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-923773-9, 167, BOOK, Skaine, Rosemarie, Women of Afghanistan in the Post-Taliban Era: How Lives Have Changed and Where They Stand Today, 2009, McFarland, 978-0-7864-3792-4, 58, File:ANA soldier shows opium captured in an alleged Taliban safe house in Helmand.jpg|thumb|right|Opium in Taliban safehouse in HelmandHelmandUnder the Transit treaty between Afghanistan and Pakistan a massive network for smuggling developed. It had an estimated turnover of 2.5 billion dollars with the Taliban receiving between $100 and $130 million per year. These operations along with the trade from the Golden Crescent financed the war in Afghanistan and also had the side effect of destroying start up industries in Pakistan. Ahmed Rashid also explained that the Afghan Transit Trade agreed on by Pakistan was "the largest official source of revenue for the Taliban."BOOK, Nojum, Neamatollah, The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War and the Future of the Region, 2002, St Martin's Press, 978-0-312-29584-4, 178, BOOK, Nojum, Neamatollah, The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War and the Future of the Region, 2002, St Martin's Press, 978-0-312-29584-4, 186, BOOK, Chouvy, Pierre-Arnaud, Opium: uncovering the politics of the poppy, 2010, Harvard University Press, 52ff, Between 1996 and 1999 Mullah Omar reversed his opinions on the drug trade, apparently as it only harmed kafirs. The Taliban controlled 96% of Afghanistan's poppy fields and made opium its largest source of taxation. Taxes on opium exports became one of the mainstays of Taliban income and their war economy. According to Rashid, "drug money funded the weapons, ammunition and fuel for the war." In The New York Times, the Finance Minister of the United Front, Wahidullah Sabawoon, declared the Taliban had no annual budget but that they "appeared to spend US$300 million a year, nearly all of it on war." He added that the Taliban had come to increasingly rely on three sources of money: "poppy, the Pakistanis and bin Laden."In an economic sense it seems he had little choice, as the war of attrition continued with the Northern Alliance the income from continued opium production was all that prevented the country from starvation. By 2000 Afghanistan accounted for an estimated 75% of the world's supply and in 2000 grew an estimated 3276 tonnes of opium from poppy cultivation on 82,171 hectares. At this juncture Omar passed a decree banning the cultivation of opium, and production dropped to an estimated 74 metric tonnes from poppy cultivation on 1,685 hectares. Many observers say the ban – which came in a bid for international recognition at the United Nations – was only issued in order to raise opium prices and increase profit from the sale of large existing stockpiles. 1999 had yielded a record crop and had been followed by a lower but still large 2000 harvest. The trafficking of accumulated stocks by the Taliban continued in 2000 and 2001. In 2002, the UN mentioned the "existence of significant stocks of opiates accumulated during previous years of bumper harvests." In September 2001 – before 11 September attacks against the United States – the Taliban allegedly authorized Afghan peasants to sow opium again.BOOK, Shaffer, Brenda, The limits of culture: Islam and foreign policy, 2006, MIT Press, 978-0-262-69321-9, 283, BOOK, Thourni, Francisco E., The Organized Crime Community: Essays in Honor of Alan A. Block, 2006, Springer, 978-0-387-39019-2, 130, Frank Bovenkerk, BOOK, Lyman, Michael D., Drugs in Society: Causes, Concepts and Control, 2010, Elsevier, 978-1-4377-4450-7, 309, There was also an environmental toll to the country, heavy deforestation from the illegal trade in timber with hundreds of acres of pine and cedar forests in Kunar Province and Paktya being cleared. Throughout the country millions of acres were denuded to supply timber to the Pakistani markets, with no attempt made at reforestation, which has led to significant environmental damage. By 2001, when the Afghan Interim Administration took power the country's infrastructure was in ruins, Telecommunications had failed, the road network was destroyed and Ministry of Finance buildings were in such a state of disrepair some were on the verge of collapse. On 6 July 1999 then president Bill Clinton signed into effect executive order 13129. This order implemented a complete ban on any trade between America and the Taliban regime and on 10 August they froze £5000,000 in Ariana assets. On 19 December 2000 UN resolution 1333 was passed. It called for all assets to be frozen and for all states to close any offices belonging to the Taliban. This included the offices of Ariana Afghan Airlines. In 1999 the UN had passed resolution 1267 which had banned all international flights by Ariana apart from preapproved humanitarian missions.BOOK, Griffin, Michael, Reaping the whirlwind: the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, 2000, Pluto Press, 978-0-7453-1274-3, 147, BOOK, Wehr, Kevin, Green Culture: An A-to-Z Guide, 2011, Sage, 978-1-4129-9693-8, 223, BOOK, Rashid, Ahmed, Taliban: Islam, oil and the new great game in central Asia, 2002, I.B.Tauris, 978-1-86064-830-4, 187, BOOK, Clements, Frank, Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia, 2003, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-402-8, 148, BOOK, Bennett, Adam, Reconstructing Afghanistan, 2005, International Monetary Fund, 978-1-58906-324-2, 29, illustrated, BOOK, Farah, Douglas, Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible, 2008, Wiley, 978-0-470-26196-5, 146, Stephen Braun, BOOK, Askari, Hossein, Economic sanctions: examining their philosophy and efficacy, 2003, Potomac, 978-1-56720-542-8, 56, BOOK, Pillar, Paul R., Terrorism and U.S. foreign policy, 2003, Brookings Institution, 978-0-8157-7077-0, 77,

International relations

During its time in power (1996–2001), at its height ruling 90% of Afghanistan, the Taliban regime, or "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, all of which provided substantial aid. The other nations including the United Nations recognized the government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan (1992–2002) (parts of whom were part of the United Front, also called Northern Alliance) as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.


{{See also|Taliban in Qatar}}Qatar in 2013, with the approval of the US and the Afghan government, allowed the Afghan Taliban to set up a diplomatic, political office inside the country.'Saudi envoy criticizes Qatari backing of Afghan Taliban'., 8 July 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.NEWS, Siegel, Robert, How Tiny Qatar 'Punches Above Its Weight',weblink NPR, 23 December 2013, This was done in order to facilitate peace negotiations and with the support of other countries.Ahmed Rashid, writing in the Financial Times, stated that through the office Qatar has facilitated meetings between the Taliban and many countries and organisations, including the US state department, the UN, Japan, several European governments and non-governmental organisations, all of whom have been trying to push forward the idea of peace talks.NEWS, Ahmed Rashid, Ahmed, Why closing the Taliban's Qatar office would be an erro,weblink 30 October 2017, Financial Times, 4 October 2017, In July 2017, Saudi Arabia, at the time in severe conflict with Qatar, without corroboration alleged Qatar to support terrorism including Taliban "armed terrorists".Suggestions in September 2017 by the presidents of both the United States and Afghanistan have reportedly lead to protests from senior officials of the American State Department.{{Clarify|reason=What suggestions? What protests?|date=November 2017}}


Canada has designated the Taliban as a terrorist group.WEB, Currently listed entities,weblink Public Safety Canada, 23 October 2014,


{{See also|Quetta Shura}}Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, leader of the Pakistani Islamic (Deobandi) political party Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) (JUI), was an ally of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani prime minister in 1993–1996, and then had access to the Pakistani government, army and the ISI, whom he influenced to help the Taliban.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=26}}. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has since 1994 heavily supported the Taliban, while the group conquered most of Afghanistan in 1994–98.NEWS, Pakistan's godfathers of the Taliban hold the key to the hunt for Bin Laden,weblink Julian West, The Daily Telegraph, 23 September 2001, London, NEWS, Former Pakistani officer embodies policy puzzle, Carlotta Gall, 3 March 2010, The New York Timesweblink MATT WALDMAN TITLE=THE SUN IN THE SKY: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PAKISTAN'S ISI AND AFGHAN INSURGENTS PUBLISHER=CRISIS STATES RESEARCH CENTRE, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE PAGE=3 QUOTE=IN THE 1980S THE ISI WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN SUPPORTING SEVEN SUNNI MUSLIM MUJAHEDEEN GROUPS IN THEIR JIHAD AGAINST THE SOVIETS, AND WAS THE PRINCIPAL CONDUIT OF COVERT US AND SAUDI FUNDING. IT SUBSEQUENTLY PLAYED A PIVOTAL RôLE IN THE EMERGENCE OF THE TALIBAN (COLL 2005:292) AND PAKISTAN PROVIDED SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL, FINANCIAL, MILITARY AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT TO THE FORMER TALIBAN REGIME IN AFGHANISTAN (1996–2001)(RASHID 2001)., Human Rights Watch writes, "Pakistani aircraft assisted with troop rotations of Taliban forces during combat operations in late 2000 and ... senior members of Pakistan's intelligence agency and army were involved in planning military operations."REPORT,weblink Crisis of Impunity, July 2001, Human Rights Watch, Pakistan provided military equipment, recruiting assistance, training, and tactical advice.{{Harvnb|Frantz|2001}} Officially Pakistan denied supporting the Taliban militarily.Author Ahmed Rashid claims that the Taliban had "unprecedented access" among Pakistan's lobbies and interest groups. He also writes that they at times were able to "play off one lobby against another and extend their influence in Pakistan even further".{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=185–186}} By 1998–99, Taliban-style groups in Pakistan's Pashtun belt, and to an extent in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, "were banning TV and videos ... and forcing people, particularly women, to adapt to the Taliban dress code and way of life."{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=93, 137}}.After the attacks of 11 September 2001, and the US operation in Afghanistan the Afghan Taliban leadership is claimed to have fled to Pakistan where they regrouped and created several shuras to coordinate their insurgency in Afghanistan.NEWS,weblink At Border, Signs of Pakistani Role in Taliban Surge, The New York Times, Carlotta, Gall, 21 January 2007, Afghan officials implied the Pakistani ISI's involvement in a July 2008 Taliban attack on the Indian embassy. Numerous US officials have accused the ISI of supporting terrorist groups including the Afghan Taliban. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others suggest the ISI maintains links with groups like the Afghan Taliban as a "strategic hedge" to help Islamabad gain influence in Kabul once US troops exit the region.US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen in 2011 called the Haqqani network (the Afghan Taliban's most destructive element) a "veritable arm of Pakistan's ISI".WEB, Thomas, Joscelyn,weblink Admiral Mullen: Pakistani ISI sponsoring Haqqani attacks, The Long War Journal, 22 September 2011, 1 December 2011, WEB,weblink The ISI and Terrorism: Behind the Accusations – Council on Foreign Relations,, 1 December 2011, From 2010, a report by a leading British institution also claimed that Pakistan's intelligence service still today has a strong link with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Published by the London School of Economics, the report said that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) has an "official policy" of support for the Taliban. It said the ISI provides funding and training for the Taliban, and that the agency has representatives on the so-called Quetta Shura, the Taliban's leadership council. It is alleged that the Quetta Shura is exiled in Quetta. The report, based on interviews with Taliban commanders in Afghanistan, was written by Matt Waldman, a fellow at Harvard University.BOOK, Pape, Robert Anthony, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It, 2010, University of Chicago Press, 978-0-226-64560-5, 142, James K. Feldman, The thinking piece of the Taliban is out of Quetta in Pakistan. It's the major headquarters (Chris Vernon British Chief of Staff), NEWS,weblink Discussion Papers, 12 December 2010, "Pakistan appears to be playing a double-game of astonishing magnitude," the report said. The report also linked high-level members of the Pakistani government with the Taliban. It said Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, met with senior Taliban prisoners in 2010 and promised to release them. Zardari reportedly told the detainees they were only arrested because of American pressure. "The Pakistan government's apparent duplicity – and awareness of it among the American public and political establishment – could have enormous geopolitical implications," Waldman said. "Without a change in Pakistani behaviour it will be difficult if not impossible for international forces and the Afghan government to make progress against the insurgency." Afghan officials have long been suspicious of the ISI's role. Amrullah Saleh, the former director of Afghanistan's intelligence service, told Reuters that the ISI was "part of a landscape of destruction in this country".NEWS,weblink Afghan ex-intel chief opposed Karzai peace plan, 8 June 2010, Reuters, Pakistan, at least up to 2011, has always strongly denied all links with Taliban.NEWS, Chris Allbritton, Pakistan strongly denied Thursday a BBC report that alleged the Pakistani military, along with its intelligence arm, supplied and protected the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda.,weblink 27 Oct 2011, Reuters, 27 October 2011, NEWS, Shuja, Nawaz, The US-Pakistan Roller Coaster Relationship,weblink 14 November 2007, Huffington Post, 14 November 2007, NEWS, Jayshree Bajoria, The Strained U.S.-Pakistan Alliance,weblink 22 October 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 February 2011, NEWS,weblink U.S.-Pakistan relations: An unhappy alliance, Los Angeles Times, 7 May 2011, 1 December 2011, MAGAZINE,weblink Pakistan warns U.S. it may lose key ally,, 23 September 2011, 1 December 2011, WEB,weblink The World Today – Pakistan denies terror links, 23 September 2011, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1 December 2011, On 15 June 2014 Pakistan army launches operation 'Zarb-e-Azb' in North Waziristan to remove and root-out Taliban from Pakistan. In this operation 327 hardcore terrorists had been killed while 45 hideouts and 2 bomb making factories of terrorists were destroyed in North Waziristan Agency as the operation continues.WEB,weblink Pakistan army launches operation 'Zarb-e-Azb' in North Waziristan,, 15 June 2014, 18 August 2014, live,weblink" title="">weblink 19 July 2014, NEWS, Jon Boone in Islamabad,weblink Pakistan begins long-awaited offensive to root out militants from border region | World news, The Guardian, 18 August 2014, WEB, Imaduddin,weblink 327 terrorists killed, 45 hideouts destroyed during Zarb-e-Azb operation: DG ISPR,, 26 June 2014, 18 August 2014, live,weblink" title="">weblink 27 June 2014,

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban)

Before the creation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban (Pakistan), some of their leaders and fighters were part of the 8,000 Pakistani militants fighting in the War in Afghanistan (1996–2001) and the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) against the United Islamic Front and NATO forces. Most of them hail from the Pakistani side of the Af-Pak border regions. After the fall of the Afghan Taliban in late 2001 most Pakistani militants including members of today's TTP fled home to Pakistan.After the creation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in 2007, headed by Baitullah Mehsud, its members have officially defined goals to establish their rule over Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. They engage the Pakistani army in heavy combat operations. Some intelligence analysts believe that the TTP's attacks on the Pakistani government, police and army strained the TTP's relations with the Afghan Taliban.NEWS, Tighe, Paul, Katz, Ian, yes, Pakistan Challenges Taliban to Show Leader Mehsud Still Alive,weblink Bloomberg, 10 August 2009, 9 August 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 July 2012, The Afghan Taliban and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan differ greatly in their history, leadership and goals although they share a common interpretation of Islam and are both predominantly Pashtun.NEWS, Scott, Shane, Insurgents Share a Name, but Pursue Different Goals, 22 October 2009, The New York Times Company,weblink The New York Times, 26 January 2011, The Afghan Taliban have no affiliation with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and routinely deny any connection to the TTP. The New York Times quoted a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban stating that:}}It is alleged that Afghan Taliban relied on support by the Pakistani army in the past and are still supported by them today in their campaign to control Afghanistan. Regular Pakistani army troops fought alongside the Afghan Taliban in the War in Afghanistan (1996–2001). Major leaders of the Afghan Taliban including Mullah Omar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Siraj Haqqani are believed to enjoy or have enjoyed safe haven in Pakistan. In 2006 Jalaluddin Haqqani was allegedly called a 'Pakistani asset' by a senior official of Inter-Services Intelligence. Pakistan denies any links with Haqqani or other terrorist groups. Haqqani himself has denied any links with Pakistan as well.U.S. attack on Taliban kills 23 in Pakistan, The New York Times, 9 September 2008WEB, Spak, Kevin,weblink Haqqani Denies Link With Pakistan – And insists it didn't assassinate peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani,, 3 October 2011, 1 December 2011, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 17 January 2013, Haqqani denies links to Pakistani government, Army Times, 1 December 2011, NEWS, Mullen, Mike,weblink Pakistan denies links to Haqqani network,, Reuters, 30 September 2011, 10 September 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 October 2013, NEWS,weblink Agence France-Presse, Haqqani network denies links to ISI: BBC, The Express Tribune, 1 December 2011, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar asked the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in late 2008 and early 2009 to stop attacks inside Pakistan, to change their focus as an organization and to fight the Afghan National Army and ISAF forces in Afghanistan instead. In late December 2008 and early January 2009 he sent a delegation, led by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdullah Zakir, to persuade leading members of the TTP to put aside differences with Pakistan.Some regional experts state the common name "Taliban" may be more misleading than illuminating.Gilles Dorronsoro, a scholar of South Asia currently at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington says:As the Pakistani Army began offensives against the Pakistani Taliban, many unfamiliar with the region thought incorrectly that the assault was against the Afghan Taliban of Mullah Omar which was not the case.The Pakistani Taliban were put under sanctions by UN Security Council for terrorists attacks in Pakistan and the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt.UNSC slaps sanctions on Pakistani Taliban, 30 July 2011,

Malakand Taliban

Malakand Taliban is a militant outfit led by Sufi Muhammad and his son in law Molvi Fazalullah. Sufi Muhammad is in Pakistani government custody; Molvi Fazalullah is believed to be in Afghanistan. In the last week of May 2011, eight security personnel and civilians fell victim to four hundred armed Taliban who attacked Shaltalo check post in Dir, a frontier District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, located few kilometers away from Afghan border. Although, they have been linked with Waziristan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the connection between these two groups was of symbolic nature.WEB, Akbar, Mayo,weblink Rise of Malakand Taliban, The Daily Outlook Afghanistan, 8 June 2011, 1 December 2011,


File:Hamid Mir interviewing Osama bin Laden.jpg|thumb|Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir interviewing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin LadenOsama bin LadenIn 1996, bin Laden moved to Afghanistan from Sudan. He came without invitation, and sometimes irritated Mullah Omar with his declaration of war and fatwas against citizens of third-party countries, but relations between the two groups improved over time, to the point that Mullah Omar rebuffed his group's patron Saudi Arabia, insulting Saudi minister Prince Turki while reneging on an earlier promise to turn bin Laden over to the Saudis.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|pp=246–247, 287–288}}.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|pp=288–289}}.Bin Laden was able to forge an alliance between the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The al-Qaeda-trained 055 Brigade integrated with the Taliban army between 1997 and 2001. Several hundred Arab and Afghan fighters sent by bin Laden assisted the Taliban in the Mazar-e-Sharif slaughter in 1998.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=139}}. From 1996 to 2001, the organization of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri had become a virtual state within the Taliban state. The British newspaper The Telegraph stated in September 2001 that 2,500 Arabs under command of Bin Laden fought for the Taliban.NEWS,weblink Afghanistan resistance leader feared dead in blast, Ahmed Rashid in the Telegraph, London, 11 September 2001, Taliban-al-Qaeda connections were also strengthened by the reported marriage of one of bin Laden's sons to Omar's daughter. While in Afghanistan, bin Laden may have helped finance the Taliban.WEB,weblink Archived copy, 11 March 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 March 2007, , archived from the original {{webarchive|url= |date=18 August 2006 }} on 11 March 2011.Lawrence Wright claims bin Laden was almost completely broke at this time, cut off from his family income, and fleeced by the Sudanese.{{Harvnb|Wright|2006|pp=222–223}}.After the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa, bin Laden and several al-Qaeda members were indicted in U.S. criminal court. The Taliban rejected extradition requests by the US, variously claiming that bin Laden had "gone missing", or that Washington "cannot provide any evidence or any proof" that bin Laden is involved in terrorist activities and that "without any evidence, bin Laden is a man without sin... he is a free man."WEB,weblink Indictments, 2 September 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 March 2012, NEWS,weblink Taliban confirms bin Laden is missing, CNN,weblink" title="">weblink 23 October 2008, 14 February 1999, NEWS,weblink Taliban Won't Turn Over Bin Laden, CBS News, 21 September 2001, 7 July 2007, NEWS,weblink Osama bin Laden 'innocent', 21 November 1998, BBC News, 17 November 2011, File:Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan (2015–present).svg|thumb|Current military situation, as of 27 February 2016.{{legend|#ebc0b3|Under control of the Afghan Government, NATO, and Allies}}{{legend|#ffffff|Under control of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Allies}}]]Evidence against bin Laden included courtroom testimony and satellite phone records. Bin Laden in turn, praised the Taliban as the "only Islamic government" in existence, and lauded Mullah Omar for his destruction of idols such as the Buddhas of Bamyan.NEWS, Embassy bombing defendant linked to bin Laden,weblink CNN, 14 February 2001,weblink" title="">weblink 26 February 2006, WEB,weblink Cooperative Research records of evidence against bin Laden,, 2 September 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 August 2013, Bin Laden, Messages to the World, (2006), p.143, from Interview published in Al-Quds Al-Arabi in London, 12 November 2001 (originally published in Pakistani daily, Ausaf, 7 Nov.), shortly before the Northern Alliance entry into Kabul.At the end of 2008, the Taliban was in talks to sever all ties with al-Qaeda.NEWS,weblink CNN, Sources: Taliban split with al Qaeda, seek peace,weblink" title="">weblink 5 August 2004, In 2011, Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn at New York University's Center on International Cooperation claimed that the two groups did not get along at times before the 11 September attacks, and they have continued to fight since on account of their differences.WEB, Noel, Brinkerhoff,weblink Surprise! Taliban and Al-Qaeda are Worlds Apart,, 9 February 2011, 1 December 2011, In July 2012, an anonymous senior-ranking Taliban commander stated that "Our people consider al-Qaeda to be a plague that was sent down to us by the heavens. Some even concluded that al-Qaeda are actually the spies of America. Originally, the Taliban were naive and ignorant of politics and welcomed al-Qaeda into their homes. But al-Qaeda abused our hospitality." He went on to further claim that about 70% of the Taliban are angry with al-Qaeda, revealing the icy relationship between the two groups.WEB,weblink Taliban Commander Says Taliban Cannot Win Afghan War: Report – ABC News,, 2 May 2012, 18 August 2014, MAGAZINE,weblink Preview: Michael Semple interviews a senior member of the Taliban, New Statesman, 11 July 2012, 18 August 2014,


Iran has historically been an enemy of the Taliban. In early August 1998, after attacking the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Taliban forces killed several thousand civilians{{Citation needed|date=May 2018}} and 11 Iranian diplomats and intelligence officers in the Iranian consulate. Alleged radio intercepts indicate Mullah Omar personally approved the killings.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=74–75}}. In the following crisis between Iran and the Taliban, the Iranian government amassed up to 200,000 regular troops on the Afghan-Iranian border.WEB, John, Pike,weblink Iranian-Afghan tensions,, 15 September 1998, 1 December 2011, War was eventually averted.Many US senior military officials such as Robert Gates,NEWS,weblink Gates Warns Iran Over Afghan 'Double Game', CBS News, 1 December 2011, 8 March 2010, Stanley McChrystal,WEB,weblink US General Accuses Iran Of Helping Taliban,, 31 May 2010, 1 December 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 7 June 2010, dead, David PetraeusNEWS, Meyer, Henry,weblink Iran Is Helping Taliban in Afghanistan, Petraeus Says (Update1), Bloomberg, 14 February 2009, 1 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 August 2011, and others believe that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps nowadays is involved in helping the Taliban to a certain extent. Reports in which NATO states accused Iran of supplying and training some Taliban insurgents started coming forward since 2004/2005.|General David Petraeus, Commander of US-NATO forces in Afghanistan|16 March 2011}}There are several sources as well stating the relationship between the Taliban and Iran in recent years. This said to occur from leadership change in the Taliban itself, with Akhtar Mansoor particularly seeking to improve ties with Iran.WEB,weblink What Was Mullah Mansour Doing in Iran?, Pro-Iran media outlets have also reported that the Taliban has included Shia Hazara fighters into its ranks.WEB,weblink Shi'ite Hazara gunmen join the Taliban, 4 October 2016, The Taliban have also condemned ISIS linked attacks on the Hazara Shia minority.WEB,weblink Afghan Taliban take apparent dig at IS over Hazara killings, AFP, 7 September 2015,

United States

The United States never recognized the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Ahmed Rashid states that the US indirectly supported the Taliban through its ally in Pakistan between 1994 and 1996 because Washington viewed the Taliban as anti-Iranian, anti-Shia and pro-Western. Washington furthermore hoped that the Taliban would support development planned by the US-based oil company Unocal. For example, it made no comment when the Taliban captured Herat in 1995, and expelled thousands of girls from schools. In late 1997, American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright began to distance the US from the Taliban, and the American-based oil company Unocal withdrew from negotiations on pipeline construction from Central Asia.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=176}}.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=175–8}}.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=177}}.NEWS,weblink BBC News, US pledges support for Afghan oil pipeline if Taliban makes peace, 10 December 1997, 9 April 2010, One day before the August 1998 capture of Mazar, bin Laden affiliates bombed two US embassies in Africa, killing 224 and wounding 4,500, mostly Africans. The US responded by launching cruise missiles on suspected terrorist camps in Afghanistan, killing over 20 though failing to kill bin Laden or even many Al-Qaeda. Mullah Omar condemned the missile attack and American President Bill Clinton. Saudi Arabia expelled the Taliban envoy in protest over the refusal to turn over bin Laden, and after Mullah Omar allegedly insulted the Saudi royal family. In mid-October the UN Security Council voted unanimously to ban commercial aircraft flights to and from Afghanistan, and freeze its bank accounts worldwide.Reuters, "Taliban blame Clinton scam for attacks", 21 August 1998.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|pp=138, 231}}.{{Harvnb|Rashid|2000|p=78}}.(File:GIs burn a house described as a Taliban safehouse.jpg|thumb|upright|US soldiers burn a suspected Taliban safehouse.)Adjusting its counterinsurgency strategy, in October 2009, the US announced plans to pay Taliban fighters to switch sides.NEWS,weblink CNN, U.S. set to pay Taliban members to switch sides, 9 April 2010, 29 October 2009, On 26 November 2009, in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, President Hamid Karzai said there is an "urgent need" for negotiations with the Taliban, and made it clear that the Obama administration had opposed such talks. There was no formal American response.WEB,weblink IPS Inter Press Service,, 27 August 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 June 2011, NEWS,weblink CNN, 9 April 2010, Right after interviewing Karzai, 6 December 2009, In December 2009, Asian Times Online reported that the Taliban had offered to give the US "legal guarantees" that they would not allow Afghanistan to be used for attacks on other countries, and that there had been no formal American response.WEB,weblink Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan, Asia Times, 17 December 2009, 27 August 2010, On 6 December, US officials indicated that they have not ruled out talks with the Taliban. Several days later it was reported that Gates saw potential for reconciliation with the Taliban, but not with Al-Qaeda. Furthermore, he said that reconciliation would politically end the insurgency and the war. But he said reconciliation must be on the Afghan government's terms, and that the Taliban must be subject to the sovereignty of the government.NEWS, Homan, Timothy R.,weblink, 6 December 2009, 27 August 2010, Talks With Taliban Not Ruled Out, U.S. Officials Say (Update1), live,weblink" title="">weblink 13 June 2010, NEWS, Reuters,weblink Pentagon sees reconciliation with Taliban,, 11 September 2001, 27 August 2010, In 2010, General McChrystal said his troop surge could lead to a negotiated peace with the Taliban.NEWS, AFP,weblink McChrystal focuses on peace with Taliban: report, Google, 24 January 2010, 27 August 2010, dead,weblink 28 January 2010,

United Kingdom

After the 9/11 attacks, the United Kingdom froze the Taliban's assets in the UK, nearly $200 million by early October 2001. The UK also supported the US decision to remove the Taliban, both politically and militarily.WEB,weblink AM Archive – UK freezes $200 million worth of Taliban assets, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 4 November 2010, BOOK, Frank Clements, Conflict in Afghanistan: A Historical Encyclopedia,weblink 2003, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-402-8, 154, The UN agreed that NATO would act on its behalf, focusing on counter-terrorist operations in Afghanistan after the Taliban had been "defeated". The United Kingdom took operational responsibility for Helmand Province, a major poppy-growing province in southern Afghanistan, deploying troops there in mid-2006, and encountered resistance by re-formed Taliban forces allegedly entering Afghanistan from Pakistan. The Taliban turned towards the use of improvised explosive devices.NEWS,weblink General Sir Michael Jackson: We must maintain our will in Afghanistan, The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2008, 4 November 2010, London, During 2008 the United Kingdom announced plans to pay Taliban fighters to switch sides or lay down arms; the proceeding year the UK government supported negotiations with the Taliban.NEWS,weblink The Daily Telegraph, London, British cash to buy off Taliban 'goes to farmers', Nick, Meo, 9 August 2008, 9 April 2010, NEWS,weblink The Guardian, London, 23 January 2008, 9 April 2010, UK news,


India did not recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and instead maintained close strategic and military ties with the Northern Alliance so as to contain the rise of Taliban during the 1990s. India was one of the closest allies of former Afghan president Mohammad Najibullah and strongly condemned his public execution by the Taliban. Pakistan and Kashmir-based militant groups thought to have ties with the Taliban have historically been involved in the Kashmir insurgency targeted against Indian security forces.WEB,weblink Massoud joins hands with India,, 1 July 1999, 2 September 2012, BOOK, Stephen P. Cohen, India: Emerging Power,weblink 2004, Brookings Institution Press, 978-0-8157-9839-2, 248, Pigott, Peter. Canada in Afghanistan: The War So Far. Toronto: Dundurn Press Ltd, 2007. {{ISBN|1-55002-674-7}}, {{ISBN|978-1-55002-674-0}}. P. 54.NEWS, Gall, Carlotta,weblink At Border, Signs of Pakistani Role in Taliban Surge – New York Times, The New York Times, 21 January 2007, 1 December 2011, In December 1999, Indian Airlines Flight 814 en route from Kathmandu to Delhi was hijacked and taken to Kandahar. The Taliban moved its militias near the hijacked aircraft, supposedly to prevent Indian special forces from storming the aircraft, and stalled the negotiations between India and the hijackers for days. The New York Times later reported that there were credible links between the hijackers and the Taliban. As a part of the deal to free the plane, India released three militants. The Taliban gave a safe passage to the hijackers and the released militants.WEB,weblink Bombay terrorist reveals links with IC 814 hijackers,, 2 September 2012, WEB,weblink India reaches out to Afghanistan, Asia Times, 30 August 2005, 2 September 2012, Following the hijacking, India drastically increased its efforts to help Massoud, providing an arms depot in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. India also provided a wide range of high-altitude warfare equipment, helicopter technicians, medical services, and tactical advice. According to one report, Indian military support to anti-Taliban forces totaled US$70 million, including five Mil Mi-17 helicopters, and US$8 million worth of high-altitude equipment in 2001. India extensively supported the new administration in Afghanistan, leading several reconstruction projects and by 2001 had emerged as the country's largest regional donor.Sreedhar, T., "India's Afghan policy" (7 March 2003), The Hindu, Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs. Retrieved 10 September 2013.Bedi, Rahul,WEB,weblink Archived copy, 3 June 2008, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2006, , (15 March 2001), Jane's Intelligence Review, archived from the original {{webarchive |url= |date=26 February 2008 }} on 16 February 2006.BOOK, McLeod, Duncan, India and Pakistan: Friends, Rivals Or Enemies?,weblink 2008, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 978-0-7546-7437-5, 93, NEWS, Tharoor, Ishaan,weblink India, Pakistan and the Battle for Afghanistan, Time, 5 December 2009WORK=BBC NEWSACCESSDATE=27 AUGUST 2010, BAJORIA>FIRST=JAYSHREETITLE=INDIA-AFGHANISTAN RELATIONSCOUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS>DATE=22 JULY 2009URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=29 NOVEMBER 2008, In the wake of terrorist attacks in India, there have been growing concerns about fundamentalist organisations such as the Taliban seeking to expand their activities into India. During the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup which was co-hosted in India, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Interpol chief Ronald Noble revealed that a terrorist bid to disrupt the tournament had been foiled; following a conference with Noble, Malik said that the Taliban had begun to base their activities in India with reports from neighboring countries exposing their activities in the country and a Sri Lankan terrorist planning to target cricketers was arrested in Colombo. In 2009, the Times of India called for India to reassess its Taliban threat.WEB, Gishkori, Zahid,weblink Terrorism threat in India during World Cup,, 1 December 2011, WEB,weblink Taliban trying to enter India: Malik, The News, 24 March 2011, 1 December 2011, live,weblink" title="">weblink 24 December 2011, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 14 July 2012, Terrorist plotting World Cup attack nabbed: Rehman Malik, The Times of India, 24 March 2011, 1 December 2011, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 7 July 2012, India forced to reassess Taliban threat, The Times of India, 31 March 2009, 1 December 2011, In 2012, Taliban said that they want to have cordial relations with India, and praised India for resisting the U.S. calls for more military involvement in Afghanistan.NEWS,weblink Taliban praises India for resisting U.S. pressure on Afghanistan, 2012-06-17, The Hindu, 2019-07-03, PTI, en-IN, 0971-751X,


Russia has been accused of arming the Taliban by multiple politicians including Rex Tillerson and the Afghan government.WEB,weblink Russia accused of supplying Taliban as power shifts create strange bedfellows, Sune Engel, Rasmussen, 22 October 2017, the Guardian, There is no public evidence to substantiate such allegations, and several independent experts are skeptical that Russia materially supported the Taliban in any way.MAGAZINE,weblink Is Russia Really Arming the Taliban?, Krishnadev, Calamur, The Atlantic, 25 August 2017, 28 August 2018, The U.S. claim—including those made in news reports—comes with no accompanying evidence, and the experts I spoke to said none of the open-source information they have seen suggest there is a direct link.,


While China has been supporting the new government in Kabul both financially and politically, it is believed to have unofficial relations with the Taliban Government according to Malek Setiz, international relations adviser to the Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan.WEB,weblink ICS- Institute of Chinese Studies : China’s Role in Afghan-Taliban Peace Talks: Afghan Perspectives,, 2019-09-08, Beijing's foreign ministry did not deny such interactions.WEB,weblink China courted Afghan Taliban in secret meetings, Financial Times, live,

United Nations and NGOs

Despite the aid of United Nations (UN) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) given (see § Afghanistan during Taliban rule), the Taliban's attitude in 1996–2001 toward the UN and NGOs was often one of suspicion. The UN did not recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, most foreign donors and aid workers were non-Muslims, and the Taliban vented fundamental objections to the sort of 'help' the UN offered. As the Taliban's Attorney General Maulvi Jalil-ullah Maulvizada put it in 1997:.}}In July 1998, the Taliban closed "all NGO offices" by force after those organizations refused to move to a bombed-out former Polytechnic College as ordered. One month later the UN offices were also shut down.Around 2000, the UN drew up sanctions against officials and leaders of Taliban, because of their harbouring Osama bin Laden. Several of them Taliban leaders have subsequently been killed.In 2009, British foreign secretary Miliband and US Secretary Hillary Clinton had called for talks with 'regular Taliban fighters' while bypassing their top leaders who supposedly were 'committed to global jihad'. Kai Eide, the top UN official in Afghanistan, called for talks with Taliban at the highest level, suggesting Mullah Omar—even though Omar had recently dismissed such overtures as long as foreign troops were in Afghanistan.WEB,weblink UN official calls for talks with taliban leaders,, 2 August 2009, 20 September 2017, In 2010, the UN lifted sanctions on the Taliban, and requested that Taliban leaders and others be removed from terrorism watch lists. In 2010 the US and Europe announced support for President Karzai's latest attempt to negotiate peace with the Taliban.NEWS,weblink The Daily Telegraph, London, UN: lift sanctions on Taliban to build peace in Afghanistan, Ben, Farmer, 25 January 2010, 9 April 2010, NEWS,weblink UN Reduce Taliban names on terror list, United Press International, 25 January 2010, 27 August 2010, WEB,weblink Asia News,, 26 January 2010, 27 August 2010,

See also

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  • {{citation |first=John C. |last=Griffiths|year=2001 |title=Afghanistan: A History of Conflict |location=London |publisher=Carlton Books|isbn=978-1-84222-597-4}}
  • {{citation |first=Carole |last=Hillenbrand|year=2015 |title=Islam: A New Historical Introduction|location=London |publisher=Thames & Hudson Ltd|isbn=978-0-500-11027-0 |authorlink=Carole Hillenbrand}}
  • {{citation |first=Ahmed |last=Rashid |authorlink=Ahmed Rashid |year=2000 |title=Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia |location=New Haven |publisher=Yale University Press |isbn= 978-0-300-08340-8 |ref=harv|title-link=Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia }}

Further reading

  • {{citation |last=Moj |first=Muhammad |title=The Deoband Madrassah Movement: Countercultural Trends and Tendencies |url= |year=2015 |publisher=Anthem Press |isbn=978-1-78308-389-3}}
  • weblink" title="">"Afghan Women and the Taliban: An Exploratory Assessment" (International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague 2014)

External links

{{Wiktionary}}{{Commons category}}{{Wikinews category}}
  • weblink" title="">Taliban's website (English)
{{External links|date=February 2019}}

{{Taliban}}{{Islamism}}{{Pashtun}}{{Political parties in Afghanistan}}{{US War on Terror}}{{Authority control}}

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