The Rise of Taliban and Falls, Re-rise and Becoming a ruling party in Afghanistan
Taliban is an Islamic Movement that came to power in 1990s when there were serious clashes among various groups of Mujahedin. They were engaged in civil war in Afghanistan. As stated by the Taliban Leaders, when Soviet Union defeated in Afghanistan, they withdrew their forces from Afghanistan, but Mujahedin failed to establish the Islamic State in the country that could meet the expectations of Afghans. Instead, clashes started among various groups of Mujahedin and other warriors supported by the remaining groups of previous communist government. The security worsened and uncontrolled local commanders oppressed the public. In Kabul, the officials and the remaining groups of the communist state formed a coalition with Northern Alliance which was established on the basis of racial and language prejudices. They united against Mujahedin Groups in order to stay in power. Against them, there were groups of mujahedin who were committed to the goals of Jihad, wanted to stay in the power in order to have the fruit of Jihad which a real Islamic System and it was the goal of their long-term efforts and struggles. Thus, the civil war began among them. The war continued for four years and many civilians and the warriors of these groups were killed during it. The economy of the country, which had already been weak, became further weaker. Many people had to leave the country. Unemployment rate raised and most of the factories of the country, military and nonmilitary equipment, and houses of civilians in Kabul were looted. The series of these security concerns was not only limited to Kabul. In fact, there were similar situations in the entire country. On highways, there were checkpoints of the warriors who made civilians pay them. During these crises, the Taliban came. As said by their leader, “the cruelty of people was on its peak in Kandahar and the provinces around it. We therefore met with various groups of Taliban and scholars who were teaching and studying in the mosques and decided to start a movement.”
In a short time, Taliban were able to strengthen their influence in Kandahar and the province around it. Later on, they took the western, eastern and central regions of Afghanistan. In addition to them, they took Kabul on 27th September, 1996. After some time, they made a lot of progress in the north of Afghanistan. They were making more progress but they got into the conflict of submission of Osama Bin Laden to the US. 9/11, 2001 made the conflict too serious and the situations completely changed. On October 7, the United States invaded Afghanistan with its 46 NATO Alliances and destroyed the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate and established a Republic State under the leadership of Hamid Karzai, instead. Soon after, the Taliban arose against the United States and the Afghan government. First they started guerilla attacks. After that, they their gathered the individuals in various provinces and took the control of many rural areas of the country. With the passage of time, they became stronger and more active against the US and the Afghan government, until the US and the US-backed Afghan government were forced to start peace talks in 2011. The Taliban wanted to negotiate directly with the United States and withdraw US and other foreign troops from Afghanistan during the negotiations. On May 9, a peace deal was signed between the two sides in Doha, the capital of Qatar, under which the United States agreed to withdraw its troops within six months and the Taliban agreed that Afghan soil would not be used against anyone else. They will open the way for US troops to withdraw, will not attack them and a number of other issues were there, which will be discussed in later pages. The Taliban halted its military operations against US forces and opened a difficult phase of negotiations with the Afghan government, but the process failed due to the Afghan government’s intransigence, anti-peace policies and lack of a unified position. The fighting intensified. The United States extended its military presence until August 31, 2021. The Taliban continued to invade the Afghan government, until August 9, more provinces came under the control of Taliban. They took the control of Kabul on the 9th of this month and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan once again became the ruler of entire country.
The beginning of the Taliban movement
There have been and are various interpretations of the start of the Taliban Islamic Movement. Some see it as a spontaneous movement that has started in Kandahar against civil war, insecurity and oppression, while others see it as a movement backed by Afghanistan’s neighbor, Pakistan, for its own colonial purposes. And they wanted the war to continue in Afghanistan and they have their own interests in it. They supported it till the end, some others consider it as a joint movement of different groups of Mujahedin, who were fed up with the tyranny of the gunmen and tyrants of different groups at that time and started a joint and independent movement against it, which later gained the financial and political support of some countries around the world.
People also say that the Taliban Movement is primarily established by Pakistan having the political support of the US and financial support of Saudi Arabia whose aim was to defeat the mujahedin who did not agree with them. But I would like to say a few words about who the members of this movement are and what kind of people they are.
Who are Taliban and what kind of people they are?
In Afghanistan, a military and political movement called the Taliban Movement was established in the 1994 by a religious group consisting of the Taliban (students of religious schools), Mullahs and Maulavis, which later took over almost all Afghanistan. The people of such group have never gained power in Afghanistan. They were neither landowners, nor sons of landowners, nor khans, nor the heads of villages, nor sayeds, nor PEERs, and nor their sons. Even so, they were neither the sons of ministers, nor of generals, nor of capitalists, nor of the owners of wealth and weapons. They did not have modern knowledge, or technical and vocational training.
They had fulfilled no government missions, nor did they have government experience. They were all villagers. They were either the students of religious schools or the imams of the mosques or the heads of the religious schools. So all they had to do was to teach religion and perform religious rituals. Many even relied on the generosity of others to lead a normal life. Most of their elders had fought in the Harakat-e-Inqelab-e-Islami during the Jihad against the Russians. After the end of the jihad, during the organizational period (1992-1996), they settled in their suburbs as before. It was unimaginable that a situation would arise in Afghanistan in which such people would rise up and will try to take the state power. They did so and succeeded, mostly because the dominant Islamic organizations and others in the homeland failed miserably and had no support of people, and the least, because the Taliban were able to govern, even in last decade of the twentieth century. The collapse of the republic of Mohammad Dawood Khan in Afghanistan led to many unexpected political miracles and it was also a great political miracle.
During the organizational period, Afghanistan was divided into regions, although Mr. Burhanuddin Rabbani, the leader of the Jamiat-e-Islami party of Afghanistan, was the president of Afghanistan. The militias and the commanders of the National Islamic Movement and Nizam Shura, as well as independent commanders, ran the government of their choice through their gunmen. They were often so self-centered that they disregarded Islamic law, rules, and social norms and customs, but ruled in their own name, amassed wealth, and indulged their lusts. At that time, their Afghan, Islamic and humanitarian interests were dominated by animalism, and in many parts of the country, people’s lives, property and dignity were not safe. The country was on the verge of collapse and all efforts to form a national government had failed, that were made by the leaders of the organizations, individual Afghans, some commanders and even the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General. There was not a single authority in the whole country that could question these gunmen and their leaders. No-one could drag them to court in order to punish them if convicted, resulting in millions of defenseless and innocent Afghans in a wave of despair, sadness and pessimism, waiting for a savior. At that moment, the Taliban Islamic Movement emerged.
How did the Taliban Islamic Movement start?
The emergence of the Taliban as an Islamic Movement in such a time and context and its rapid growth and strength, is indeed an issue that many people do not have enough information about. But what is known to some extent is that this movement was started by Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid on the 4/4/1373 Shamsi, which corresponds with 25/6/1994 Ad. He moved from Sangsar area of Maiwand district of Kandahar. Mullah Mohammad Omar had a small madrassa there. Before I go into the details of this movement, I would like to quote the exact words of the leader of this movement, Mullah Mohammad Omar that he had spoken to a large meeting of mullahs at the Shura Hall in Kandahar after the establishment of the movement on 14/1/1374 which corresponds with 28/05/ 1995, “The efforts to start the movement began when I was at madrassa. I closed the book, I befriended another man, walked from Sangsar to Zangawat. In Zangawat, we took a motorcycle from a man, named Sarwar who was from the Taloqan area. I picked this man up. We started in the morning, we went to a madrassa which had fourteen Taliban. We told them that the religion of God had been trampled, corruption and immorality had taken over the whole area. Stealing and looting have started, Muslims are being humiliated on public roads, people’s property is being stolen, and people are being killed on public roads … I told them, the slogans “Long live and death to …” cannot do anything. If the Taliban really want to work for the religion of God, they need to abandon studying … No one had promised me a single rupee … We will ask the Muslims of our country, it does not matter if they support us financially or not, and this is not the work of a day, week, month or even a year …I said that these wicked and immoral people are like a black pot in the foxhole, they are sitting in the enmity of God and they are openly doing it … I swear that none of these fourteen people said to be with us. I left this group and went to another group of Taliban. There were five or seven people. I told them the same thing. They all registered themselves and joined the movement …
By the afternoon we had ridden this motorcycle around and had prepared fifty-three people. It was just a matter of trust … By ten o’clock in the morning we found two cars. We told Haji Bashir, he gave us a Hino Truck and four pickups. We drove them to Kishk Nakhud. “We assembled these people in Kishk Nakhud, many other people joined them and the number increased. We asked people for weapons and they gave us five guns. This was the start of the movement which later expanded”.
The first obvious happening of the Taliban Islamic Movement was that, under the encouragement and leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, the Taliban and mullahs from the surrounding madrassas and circles succeeded in defeating Commander Mohammad Saleh, who had kidnapped women from a bus on a Kandahar-Herat highway for his own illegal purpose. They killed him and released the women. Later, Mullah Mohammad Omar captured Spin Boldak first and then the entire Kandahar. Before capturing Kabul, he captured Ghazni, Herat and Greater Nangarhar by force of his militant Taliban and with the active support of the local people, especially the Kandaharis. They also captured Kabul on September 27, 1996 which corresponds with 06, 07, 1375 Shamsi. Since then, they captured consecutively large areas in the north, especially after 1998, and by the 2000, Taliban had taken the control of almost the entire Afghanistan. Among the former dictators, Burhanuddin Rabbani was ousted in Badakhshan and Ahmad Shah Massoud in Khwaja Bahauddin, Takhar, and others were either captured, allied with the Taliban, or fled the country.
Prior to the capture of Kabul, Mullah Mohammad Omar was the leader of the Taliban movement and then, in early April 1996, at a gathering in Kandahar, about (1500) Afghan scholars entitled Mullah Mohammad Omar “Amir al-Mu’minin.” After that, his movement members called him “Amir al-Mu’minin Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid” and called the movement the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”. But at first, he was reluctant to accept these positions. According to Mullah Mohammad Hassan Rahmani, after a few victories, six or seven Taliban leaders began to think that they should have a leader. For this purpose, a Jirga was called, but no one was present to become the leader. It was the time that the BBC named Mullah Mohammad Omar in connection with an incident. A mullah asked the people to declare Mullah Mohammad Omar as their leader. But he was not present to assume the control of the country. He said that the leader should listen to speeches and do important things and he does not see this power in himself. Others told him that they would provide the speeches for him and he would listen and lead. Eventually, he accepted to lead the Taliban. Similarly, Mullah Mohammad Omar was not present to accept the title of Amir al-Mu’minin. In a special meeting, he attempted several times to leave the meeting. But with insistence of his friends he accepted this position as well.
It was well known that important decisions and orders of the Taliban regime were made by Mullah Omar. By 1997, they had crossed into northern Afghanistan and had captured Kunduz. When Abdul Rashid Dostum’s deputy, General Abdul Malik Pahlawan, joined the Taliban, he helped them in capturing Mazar-e-Sharif. However, it was unknown whether the decision of reconciliation with General Abdul Malek was made by Mullah Mohammad Omar or not. As General Abdul Malek withdrew from Taliban, a large number of Taliban fighters were captured and then killed by the opposition militia. It was a major military blow to the Taliban leadership. But by the summer of 1998, the Taliban regrouped and recaptured Mazar-i-Sharif along with other northern provinces. On March, 2001, The Bamiyan Buddha statues were demolished at the command of Mullah Mohammad Omar, which provoked widespread international reactions. Taliban rule continued to grow, and by September of that year, the Taliban had the control of about 90 % of Afghanistan.
Who was Mullah Mohammad Omar?
Mullah Mohammad Omar was Hotak Pashtun and was born in Chah-e-Himmat Village, Khakrez district of Kandahar in 1959 AD. His father’s name was Maulawi Ghulam Nabi and his grandfather’s name was Maulawi Ghulam Rasool. He inherited a series of religious teachings and IMAMAT from his father, grandfather and grandfathers. He was the third child of his parents, had two older sisters and a younger brother named Sher Ali. Mullah Mohammad Omar was two years old when his father became the Imam in Noda village in Dand District near Kandahar city and moved his family there from Chah Himmat village in Khakrez district. He was four years old when his sisters died of a contagious disease in the area, and his only brother later died of the same disease as well. He was five years old when his father, Maulawi Ghulam Nabi died of an illness. There was no-one with him except his mother. Later, His mother married Mullah Omar’s paternal uncle, Maulavi Mohammad Anwar and became the guardian of his nephew, Mullah Mohammad Omar. Later, his uncle, Maulawi Mohammad Anwar, and his other uncle, Maulawi Mohammad Juma, took the responsibility of IMAMAT and teaching in Dehrawat District of Uruzgan province and took little Mohammad Omar and his mother to Dehrawat. Mullah Mohammad grew up there. He received basic religious education under the guardianship and instructions of his uncle, Maulvi Mohammad Anwar. Eight-year-old Mohammad Omar got admission in a Madrassa known as Great Madrassa. He studied there until the communist and anti-Russian jihad.
Mullah Mohammad Omar did not have any formal schooling. He struggled to read and write other than religious books. As a young man, he was a member of the Harakat-e-Inqelab-e-Islami party led by Maulawi Mohammad Nabi Mohammadi. As an assistant of Commander, Faizullah Akhuzada, he fought against the Soviet invaders and lost his right eye in that jihad. Mullah Mohammad Omar’s personality was built as a result of his meetings with the Mujahedin during the Jihad against the Russians, which made a great part of world views in defending his homeland and Islam from foreign invaders. Mullah Mohammad Omar’s sense of patriotism was strong and emotional. It is a well-known saying of Mullah Mohammad Omar about Pakistan, especially the Durand Line, that during his time in the Emirate, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Nasrullah Babar came to Kandahar with a delegation and met Mullah Mohammad Omar. During the lunch, Nasrullah Babar told Mullah Mohammad Omar that Mullah Sahib, if you formalize the Durand Line, everything will be OK. Mullah Mohammad Omar got angry with him and told him betrayer, put the down and get out of Afghanistan soon!
According to his comrades, he considered the holy jihad to be fought for the protection of the “integrity of the land of Afghanistan” and the enforcement of Islamic law and considered it a duty of the country’s honest nationals, religious students and mujahedin. He considered death a martyrdom in the pursuit of a free life, but in his opinion, the freedom meant to be the independence of the homeland, nor the individual freedom.
Mullah Mohammad Omar was pious, influential, but a really simple man. he had rarely spoken to the audio media since the Taliban movement inception in 2005, and never appeared in the picture media for the rest of his life. He was not interested in debating and arguing. He would recite AZKAAR after every prayer. According to his friends, he was a calm man and did not get angry or scared. Mullah Mohammad Omar, a man of very little education, whose great demand and passion for movement was putting an end to the ongoing chaos of time and corruption. Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid enthusiastically led his movement. He always led from Kandahar by giving orders and governing via satellite phone. As the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat Omar (may Allah be pleased with him), he used to ride an old motorcycle in Kandahar City at night to keep abreast of the situation of the people. He used to listen to the Epic TARANAS (Jehadi Songs) of Famous TARANA singers of his movement, Fazluddin Saraji Jihadi, Faqir Mohammad Darwish. Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid managed to make his movement successful and overcome major obstacles in front of it although many modern-educated leaders had failed before him. He was able to turn this new movement into a strong military and political movement of Afghanistan and keep it united till the end and to bring complete security to most parts of Afghanistan. However, they faced major setbacks in their foreign policy, which led to a dispute with the United States over Osama bin Laden in 2001. He told the US Government that Usama Bin Laden took a refuge here and due to the tradition of Islamic Brotherhood Afghan hospitality, I cannot submit him to you, so the United States, along with dozens of NATO member states, invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid and replaced it with the republic government under the leadership of Hamid Karzai. In a biography published by the Taliban after his death, it was said that he had no bank account abroad. He was a “good-natured and cheerful man” who never considered himself “superior to his peers.” The Taliban say that although Mullah Omar was closely monitored by the “enemy”, there has been no change in his daily activities. Although there was no exact information where he was after the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, there were rumors that he was living somewhere along the Durand Line. Bette Dum, an independent Dutch journalist who worked in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014, wrote a book, “In Search of an Enemy” about the life and residence of Mullah Omar which was published in Holland on February 2019. The book covers a secret part of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s life that no one except two or three people knew about. The book, written after five years of research and as a result of hundreds of interviews in Afghanistan, reveals hidden truths that have shocked almost the entire world. The book says, it is said that the story told by America or anyone else, is a lie. After 2001, Mullah Omar never went to Pakistan and chose his beloved homeland as a shelter place. He and spent eight years in a place which was a few kilometers away from a large American base with thousands of American troops. “
The author says, “After two years of trying, on December, 2018, I was able to meet Abdul Jabbar Omari, the man who glasses and had long white beard.” Abdul Jabbar Omari was Mullah Mohammad Omar’s bodyguard ever since he disappeared from Kandahar and was with him until 2013, the year of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death. He was in the custody of National Directorate of Security. From his interview, and from dividing the story into several parts, and from the informed sources that I have gathered about Mullah Omar’s whereabouts since 2001, I came to the conclusion that Mullah Omar has never lived in Pakistan during this period. In fact, he spent the rest of his life in remote small villages in the mountainous region of Zabul.” In this book, Mr. Abdul Jabbar says that Mullah Mohammad Omar had a strong distrust of Pakistan therefore he did not want to go to Pakistan. He spent the rest of his life in Zabul province, which was not his home province, but was a very secluded place. Abdul Jabbar added that he also told Ustad Abdul Samad that had been a Taliban driver for a long time, but now he was driving a taxi in Qalat. Ustad Samad died in 2007.
According to the book, Jabbar Omari decided that he and Mullah Omar could hide in the house of Ustad Abdul Samad, where Ustad Omar lived with his family. The mud house was very close to the building of Hamidullah Tokhi, the then governor of Zabul, and was a few minutes’ walk away. Jabbar Omari refused to reveal the original location of the house where Mullah Mohammad Omar was sheltered, fearing that the Afghan government would burn down the house and if they found Mullah Mohammad Omar’s grave, they would take out his corpse from the grave and will throw it in the streets.”
According to Jabbar Omari, his house was an old castle, surrounded by mud walls and large yard and rooms lined up. Mullah Omar settled in a large room in the corner of the house. The room did not have an open door, it had a hidden door which seemed to the place of boxes. Ustad’s family and his wife had not yet been told that Mullah Omar was staying in the corner room, Ustad had just told them, “One of my front line commander during the Taliban era needed our help.” He threatened them that if they told anyone, everyone would be killed. He said, “I scared my wife and kept my wife, children and relatives away from the corner room as much as possible.” According to Jabbar Omari, “I would spend a lot of time in the room with Mullah Mohammad Omar. He would not leave the room much, after four years we felt safe in this room. Twice in those four years, US forces came close to the house where Mullah Omar lived. One night the soldiers came to our neighborhood. Mullah Mohammad Omar and I (Jabbar Omari) were walking out of the room. When we heard the sound of their feet, they hid behind a big pile of wood, but the soldiers had not yet entered the house. Then they came in and hurriedly went back. We became aware when foreign troops entered the house, searching all the rooms except the corner room which had a secret the door. “I don’t know if they had followed Mullah Omar or had been patrolling as usual,” said Jabbar Omari.
According to Mr. Omari, in 2004, American forces set up a large base very close to Mullah Mohammad Omar’s residence, which forced Mullah Omar and Abdul Jabbar to move to Seori district of Zabul province with the help of Ustad Abdul Samad. The Seori area was formerly the part of Shinkai district and it was the site from where Mullah Omar’s father’s family had previously moved to Kandahar. Jabbar Omari and Abdul Samad Ustad were also born in the same village. In 2005, the district became full of Taliban and was known as the Taliban district. Due to some security concerns, Jabbar Omari did not specify the exact location of Mullah Omar’s second hiding place, but after interviews with former members of the Qalat and Seori governments and tribal elders, it became clear that he lived in a specific village, which was situated on the bank of a small stream. Then Ustad said that we had built a hut for Mullah Omar, behind the big mud castle, away from the crowds and three two miles away from the main road. A family also lived in the mud house, but only two brothers knew who lived in the hut. The hut was built in the Weyala area and was connected to a tunnel, which was used for water. Upon Mullah Omar’s arrival, the Americans also set up an operational military base here called Wolverine, about three miles from his residence. In F.O.B Wolverine Camp had about 1,000 U.S. troops who were conducting operations against insurgents under name of Crushing revolts operations and Enduring Freedom. In the 5th year, Lithuanian troops came to the camp to train the local Afghan police in Zabul, and occasionally the British Special Air Force and the US Navy came to the camp. Afghan and foreign forces increased their presence in the area as the 30 Km road lying between Qalat and Sweeney F.O.B. base in Shinkie was paved, reaching the Seori area. “This place also became very dangerous for us,” said Jabbar Omari. American planes would fly over their heads, infantry would pass close by and the Taliban would attack passing American troops, Mullah Mohammad Omar would often hide in the tunnel. Sometimes there was only a distance a few feet distance between us and the foreign forces. “Often the foreigners would call the village elders to their military base to get their support.”
Mullah Mohammad Omar and his comrade, Abdul Jabbar Omari, stayed in the area despite the obstacles. The Afghan government’s intelligence agencies made great efforts to catch Abdul Jabbar, but in spite of all this, they did not stop serving Mullah Mohammad Omar. According to Abdul Jabbar Omari, at the beginning of the 2013, Mullah Mohammad Omar became ill, coughing and vomiting profusely. His illness prolonged. He said that he would not recover. Jabbar Omari made soup for him, which was his favorite food, to relieve his weakness, but Mullah Mohammad Omari could not eat it. Jabbar Omari says that it seemed that Mullah Mohammad Omar was going to leave this world. When Jabbar Omari told him to go to the doctor, he refused to do so. He offered to him go to Pakistan by car, but he refused. Finally, Mullah Mohammad Omar died on April 23, 2013.
On the night of his death, Jabbar Omari, with the help of two others, buried him without a shroud in an unknown grave. Jabbar Omari then went to Pakistan and shared his death with Mullah Omar’s brother Mullah Abdul Manan and Mullah Omar’s son Mullah Mohammad Yaqub. Abdul Jabbar Omari then secretly shared the news in Quetta with ten Taliban leaders, who, in turn, said that the Americans decided to withdraw. If they became aware of his death, the news would boost their morale to stay in Afghanistan. However, they kept the news secret for two years, with rumors of Mullah Mohammad Omar’s death circulating after a year. Afghan government intelligence reported his death in the summer of 2015 that he had died two years ago. The Taliban had to to confirm the news and chose Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor as Taliban leader for a short time who was bombed by US drones and was replaced by Mullah Hibaullah Akhundzada as Taliban leader.
Organizational Structure of the Taliban Islamic Emirate
The system of the Taliban Islamic Emirate was not governed by certain laws like other systems of government. At the beginning of this system, Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid had high privileges as Amir al-Mu’minin, beside him was the Kandahar High Council, but this council had no elected and fixed members and had no regular meetings. The council initially had ten members, who were Pashtun mullahs from Kandahar, Uruzgan and Helmand. They were the first friends of Mullah Mohammad Omar, known as the Kandaharis. With the expansion of the Emirate, which included military commanders, tribal elders and religious scholars, the number of the council members increased. According to Maulawi Ahmad Jan, a Taliban leader, “We had a system of government, which means that the council has the power to elect the Amir.” The religious scholars are the in the second position of the government. “The members of the council were in different provinces, but most of them were in Kabul and held meetings here (Kandahar). They would advise Mullah Mohammad Omar and then issued decrees.” According to him, the Kandahar council could not hold regular meetings in Kandahar, especially during the war, when most members of the council commanded their own militant Taliban on the front lines, so there would be a small number of members in Kandahar who were a close friends of Mullah Mohammad Omar, who led the real government of the Emirate under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar.
The Kabul Council, or the executive branch of the emirate, had eight members, known as the Council of Ministers, but its authority was limited and the Kandahar Council rejected most of its decisions and was forced to make decisions with their consultation. However, under the leadership of Maulvi Qalamuddin, the Ministry of “Amr al-Ma’ruf and Nahi al-Munkar” had major powers and was very active. The scope of work of other ministries was narrow, especially after 1997, when the staff was reduced and those who were considered sympathetic to the previous governments were expelled. The policy of the emirate leaders was to rid their administration of undesirable officials, because they were trying to make their society completely Islamic. Kabul, like Kandahar, had a six-member oversight council, of which Mullah Mohammad Rabbani and Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund were its important members. The first, who was the head of the council or the prime minister, pursued a relatively mild policy, and the last one, who was his deputy, was somewhat hardline.
The Supreme Court (Stara Mahkama) worked as a judiciary to adjudicate cases on the basis of Sharia law, while civil affairs were conducted by the laws of Daud Khan’s reign. Thus, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan for five years and during their rule, they controlled all of Afghanistan except Panjshir and some parts of Takhar. The Islamic Emirate of the Taliban was recognized officially by only three countries, namely “Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates” during its five-year rule.
Dispute with the US over Osama Bin Laden
The history of Osama’s presence in Afghanistan
Osama bin Laden returned to Afghanistan from Sudan in 2000, when Kabul was still under the rule of Burhanuddin Rabbani. It means the history of Osama bin Laden’s presence in Afghanistan dates back to almost ten years before the establishment of the Taliban movement. He took an active part in the jihad against the Russians. Osama bin Laden became famous in Afghanistan when he took part in a confrontation with Soviet troops in the Zazi Maidan district of Paktia province in 2000, inflicting heavy casualties on them. After the famous battle of Zazi Maidan, he also founded an international organization called Al-Qaeda Al-Jihad in the high mountains of Zazi, which is said to be the first Arab organization outside Arab countries to fight against Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
After the defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden fled to Saudi Arabia and then to Sudan. Returning to Afghanistan for the second time from Sudan, he first settled in Nangarhar, then moved to Tora Bora Center due to security concerns, where he issued his first statement on August 26, 1996. In the statement, he called on the people to take action against the US and Saudi governments. In Tora Bora, his second interview was with Abdul Bari, the host of Al-Quds Arabic Program in November, 1996. The program was broadcast in London, in which Bin Laden expressed his interest in major wars, saying that the nature of such wars requires special operations to affect the enemy which requires a high level of preparation. Bin Laden’s third interview in Tora Bora, which he conducted with the American international television channel, CNN, took place on March 9, which was the most bitter. In the interview he called the Saudi Kingdom to be anti-Islamic because of loyalty to America.
When Taliban captured Kabul, Osama bin Laden was still in Tora Bora and worried about his security. He sent a delegation to Mullah Mohammad Omar in Kandahar at the end of the year, where he did not receive a warm welcome. But Mullah Mohammad Omar asked Bin Laden to come to Kandahar for his safety in the early 1997, and he did so, spending two nights in Kabul on his way to Kandahar and in Kabul. He met with Mullah Mohammad Rabbani, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, and his Deputy Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund at Wazir Mohammad Akbar Khan Mena. At the time, bin Laden praised the Taliban movement and promised to provide them with money and fighters unconditionally. Osama said that if due to his presence in Afghanistan, the international community is not willing to recognize Taliban Movement, he is ready to leave Afghanistan. Mullah Rabbani told him that if you are in Afghanistan, the international community will not recognize the emirate, but he should stay. Two days later, Osama bin Laden moved to Kandahar, where his family and the Mujahideen were given a large palace to live in, but Bin Laden sometimes lived there, sometimes in Paktia, and sometimes in Nangarhar. He also visited Balkh once in January, 1999.
Osama bin Laden paid more for the emirate’s budget and promised to do more. With the arrival of Osama bin Laden, the Cold War between the United States and the Taliban began over the extradition of Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia. In 1998, a dispute arose between Saudi intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal and Taliban leader Amir al-Mu’minin Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid over Osama bin Laden. Amir al-Mu’minin told him that you have taken Saudi Citizenship form him and he is no longer a Saudi citizen, so why are you insisting on handing him over to Saudi Arabia?
The Americans then insisted on handing Osama over to Washington instead of handing him over to Saudi Arabia. The first clash between the Taliban and the United States over Osama bin Laden took place on August 7, 1998. On August 9 of the same year, bomb attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed at least 200 people and injured 1000 others. No-one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the United States accused Al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden under the control of Taliban. The United States took revenge by launching rocket attacks on parts of Khost, Afghanistan, on the same month of August 7. Mullah Omar condemned the attacks, saying there were no bin Laden training camps in the country.
The US missile strike on Afghanistan raised the possibility that if they take further action against bin Laden, it will be confined to the framework of that missile strike, and the US forces will not invade Afghanistan.
Al-Qaeda carried out a suicide attack on a USS Cole in a Yemeni seaport on October 12, 2000 following bombings in Africa on August 5 and 6, respectively. Seventeen U.S. Marines were killed and 30 others were injured in the blast. But the United States did not respond, despite the fact that more Americans were killed in the attack than in Africa. The United States’ response to the Yemeni attack has further strengthened speculation that the United States may not react to Osama bin Laden’s actions in Afghanistan.
Why does the US respond negatively to any Taliban offer regarding Osama bin Laden?
In 2012, when the Taliban banned poppy cultivation and a decree from Amir al-Mu’minin banned poppy cultivation throughout Afghanistan, the Americans directly asked the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden to them, but the Taliban rejected their offer and asked the United States to hand over to the judiciary of the Islamic Emirate any documents and evidence that they had regarding Osama’s involvement. But the United States wrote to the Taliban embassy in Islamabad saying, “We do not trust your judiciary because we do not agree with handing over the case of Osama bin Laden to your judiciary.” At that time, the Emirate indirectly recommended to Osama bin Laden that in order to protect the interests of the Afghan people and the Islamic Emirate, it would be good if he voluntarily considered an alternative place to live instead of Afghanistan. The Taliban Islamic Emirate repeatedly called on Osama bin Laden not to use Afghan soil against anyone and not to make threatening media statements against his opponents. As Osama bin Laden was an international jihadi figure and was regarded by all as one of the heroes of the jihad, the Emirate did not consider it appropriate to keep him in custody. And ban meetings that he held with people.
Osama bin Laden also preferred this recommendation and practically disappeared for some time to implement this tactic, after which he was indirectly exposed by the media and the whole process remained unfulfilled. The Americans have also stepped up their threats to extradite Osama bin Laden through Pakistani authorities. If it failed, the Emirate will be held responsible for the dire consequences, but the Taliban leader urged the Americans to share it with their judicial centers if they had anything about Osama. Without evidence and proof Taliban cannot hand over a Muslim to infidels. The Taliban also faced severe economic sanctions from the United States and other countries.
In 2000, when Osama bin Laden realized that more airstrikes were being launched on New York and Washington, and perhaps the US response about Afghanistan was more severe than the bombing of a US ship in Africa and Yemen, so he tried to leave Afghanistan. “At this time, Bin Laden also informed of his decision to move from Afghanistan to the tribal areas across the Durand Line,” said Mustafa Hamid Abu al-Walid al-Masri, a journalist of Al Jazeera television. I was currently in charge of Al Jazeera’s office in Kandahar. Following Osama’s news, I informed Al Jazeera’s headquarters that if they would allow me to take my press team, (videographer) and all the means of transmitting video to accompany Osama on his intention of leaving Afghanistan. Al Jazeera’s headquarters also agreed with my suggestion, but Osama bin Laden abruptly changed his decision to leave Afghanistan and instead of interviewing Al Jazeera’s media team, he gave a lengthy interview to MBC television. During which he threatened the United States with major attacks on their targets”. After that, he started to live secretly.
Mr. Mustafa Hamid Abul Waleed Al-Misri adds, “Before the incident of September, no one had thought that the United States would invade Afghanistan for capturing Osama Bin Laden and occupy entire Afghanistan. Everyone thought that the Osama’s home could be targeted and fired by the Americans, because everyone said that there was nothing in Afghanistan that could be valued at the cost of American missiles. By the way, the only building that was worth the American Missiles was the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, which relatively survived the war, but everything in Afghanistan was already in ruins.”
The collapse of the Taliban Islamic Emirate
On September 9, 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud, a powerful Taliban opposition commander, was reportedly killed in an attack by two Arab journalists in Khwaja Bahauddin, Takhar. The death of Ahmad Shah Massoud was considered a victory for the Taliban, but two days later, the incident of September 9 took place. Nineteen members of al-Qaeda, mostly Saudis, hijacked four “United” and “American” airliners and attacked New York and Washington. About 3000 people were killed in the attacks. This time, the United States blamed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and US President George W. Bush called on to hand him over to the US Government. The Taliban leadership then left the matter to the “Religious Scholars Council” or Jirga, which then requested Bin Laden to leave Afghanistan. But then Mullah Omar backed Osama bin Laden’s asylum, paving the way for a decisive confrontation with the United States. However, the Taliban later suggested to the United States that they were ready to extradite Osama Bin Laden to Pakistan for trial. But the offer was rejected by Musharraf. Also on October 9, 2001, the Taliban reiterated that they were ready to rule on Osama bin Laden in a court inside Afghanistan. But on the same day, the Americans launched airstrikes on Afghanistan and started a bloody war and then sent tens of thousands of troops to Afghanistan under the guise of fighting terrorism. In this war, the United States used advanced technology, repeatedly bombing Taliban strongholds with B-52, until Kunduz and Kandahar were the last Taliban strongholds on November 9, 2001 and were destroyed as a result of the US airstrikes and attacks by Northern Alliance ground forces. The Taliban regime collapsed, and since then Mullah Omar’s whereabouts have been unknown, and only written speeches were shared on occasions such as Eid.
Although many believed that the invasion of Afghanistan was planned long before 9/11 and became a pretext in the middle of September. It is a different matter if anyone did it. The event was a bloody history of the beginning of this century, which, like the two world wars, will be a hot topic of research and debate for the coming generations. It is also a well-known fact that Afghans had no hand in the US incident. The Taliban also condemned the incident. Taliban foreign affairs minister, Maulawi Wakeel Ahmad said, “The Taliban condemned the incident in their official response and called on the United States to exercise caution instead of attacking Afghanistan.” (1) The Taliban even spoke of Osama bin Laden’s trial in a third country, citing evidence of his involvement in the incident, but the United States showed no patience. Almost every Afghan was severely affected by the US invasion, even though they came to Afghanistan under the guise of fighting terrorism and ostensibly claimed that we would establish peace, stability and a stable state in Afghanistan. We will help Afghans economically and socially, but over the past 20 years, not only have the peace-loving Afghans did not achieve peace, but millions of other Afghans revolted against them and became increasingly powerful. During the resistance, people from both sides were killed and Afghanistan was plunged into a long 20-year war. Many commentators and political analysts believe that the war was ostensibly a counter-terrorism operation, but that it had other objectives. They say terrorism was an excuse in the war, aimed at economic, political, religious and colonialism, to which Afghanistan was chosen in the region. In this war, all of Afghanistan’s neighbors decided to help the United States at the discretion of President George W. Bush, who said either be with us or with the terrorists.
After the invasion of Afghanistan, the United States first took the path of building a government with the Northern Alliance, which had joined hands and fought against the Taliban, and handed over most of the power to them. Burhanuddin Rabbani took over the reins of the country and served as President until the end of a fifteen-day international conference in Bonn, Germany, on December 4 of that year to establish a new regime in Afghanistan. It was decided to form an interim administration headed by Hamid Karzai, with Burhanuddin Rabbani ousted under pressure from the international community and Hamid Karzai took the power, but the Northern Alliance’s power remained in place until the existence of the US. On December 22, 2001, President Karzai, along with his cabinet, pledged allegiance to the Bonn Conference for a six-month interim period and became its chairman. Mr. Hamid Karzai was elected by the Emergency Loya Jirga on June 13, 2002, as the president of the Islamic Transitional Government of Afghanistan for a two-and-a-half-year term.
The Second resurgence of Taliban
On October 07, 2001, the United States of America invaded Afghanistan. US airplanes targeted key Taliban centers in major Taliban cities of the country. The Taliban resisted in various provinces, but were unable to succeed. Their armed resistance did not last more than one and half month. The Islamic Emirate of the Taliban collapsed and US troops entered Afghanistan by air. First, they took the control of Kabul and Bagram airfields and later on, Kandahar, Herat and Balkh airfields. In the meantime, Northern Alliance fighters played the role of ground forces. The Taliban lost the control of Kabul and later their last stronghold, Kandahar. In many southern, eastern, and western provinces, commanders who had ties with the United States and had its political, financial, and weapons support, also played started fighting against Taliban. In a short period of time, these provinces also came under the control of fighters of these commanders. Thousands of Taliban in the north, especially in Balkh, Kunduz and Jawzjan, surrendered to the Northern Alliance leaders, most of these surrendered Taliban fighters were in Balkh who surrendered to Abdul Rasheed Dostum, but there is evidence that Dostum then brutally massacred thousands of surrendered Taliban fighters, contrary to his promise.
It is important to mention that the after Taliban Islamic Movement had been almost completely wiped out by the United States and the Emirate individual members were trying to hide and return to normal life, the question arises why they rose up against the foreign forces and the Afghan government. They fought fiercely for twenty years and lost tens of thousands of their fighters. Finally, on August 9, they recaptured Kabul and entire Afghanistan, and declared the Islamic Emirate for the second time.
To explain the point, I would like to quote the words of Mullah Abdul Salam Roketti’s, a former senior member of the Taliban movement, taken from a book “In Search of Hidden Enemy” by Ms. B.T. Dum about the secret life of Mullah Mohammad Omar. Mr. Abdul Salam Roketti says that on December 2, 2001, when the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban was overthrown, Mullah Mohammad Omar held a meeting of high-ranking Taliban leaders in the basement of a Kandahari businessman’s house. Before entering the basement, participants were thoroughly searched and several people were told to change cars on the way, so that Mullah Mohammad Omar could not be identified and prevented from appearing. I was also invited to the meeting. When coming to the meeting, Mullah Mohammad Omar, sat on the ground with his gun in his hands, he asked the people, “What should we do?” Many were ready to leave the war, but everyone was silent and afraid of the wrath of Mullah Mohammad Omar, at last one man dared to break the silence, saying that they wanted to surrender. I was doubtful if I told him not to fight, he would kill me, but he was relieved when Mullah Mohammad Omar fully convinced himself of his comrades’ decision, he said, “I hand over my authority to Mullah Obaidullah, the Minister of Defense. If Mullah Obaidullah made any decision, he should strongly support it. Then he signed a letter instructing them to follow him. Mullah Mohammad Omar said to his friends twice, “Did you understand?” And then he left the room alone and disappeared in the dirt streets of Kandahar. The Taliban who remained were happy that the war would end. It was the month of Ramadan, and on that night we forgot to break our fast. (Betty Dum, Secret Life of Mullah Mohammad Omar)
Mr. Roketti adds, “On the second day, Mullah Oabidullah went to the northern district of Kandaharm Shahwali Kot with the intention to meet with President Karzai and his friends. Karzai met with them and an agreement was reached. In the Shawali Kot agreement, the Taliban, led by Mullah Obaidullah, agreed to lay down their arms. President Karzai also agreed and appeared in front of the media the next day, declaring that the Taliban were the children of this land and would be forgiven. Taliban would go home or join the government. But al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are Afghanistan’s enemies. The United States had a plan contrary to the President Karzai’s talks. Washington considers the Taliban a serious threat and listed Mullah Mohammad Omar as one of the most wanted terrorists after Osama bin Laden. The US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld summoned Hamid Karzai and asked the media to re-announce and remove Mullah Mohammad Omar from the amnesty list. At this point, the Americans plotted to thwart Karzai’s efforts to reconcile with the former Taliban. A man closes to Hamid Karzai, who had friendly relations with the Taliban and was working for reconciliation with the Taliban, was replaced by the warlord Gul Agha Sherzai. Gul Agha Sherzai and his militias captured the home-based Taliban and others who sought refuge in Pakistan, were imprisoned and tortured by them.
Thus, the United States announced the greatest award for capturing Mullah Mohammad Omar. The US and militias led by Gul Agha Sherzai also carried out large-scale operations in Kandahar and Helmand in pursuit of Mullah Mohammad Omar, but they were not lucky enough to find him.
According to the author, with the advent of the United States, when the Taliban Islamic Emirate collapsed, Mullah Mohammad Omar handed over power to Mullah Obaidullah, the then-Minister of Defense of the Taliban Islamic Emirate, and called on the Taliban to support him. In order to make a peace deal with Hamid Karzai. Mullah Mohammad Omar hid and whose details are mentioned in the same article (About the life of Mullah Mohammad Omar), but the United States did not accept the peace agreement of Hamid Karzai and arrested the Taliban in various ways, imprisoned them at Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, raided their homes and hideouts and harassed them; the Taliban had no choice but to fight back. They prepared their comrades for a long and arduous struggle.
It should not be forgotten that it was not only the Taliban who rose up against the foreign forces and the Afghan government, but also the Hezb-e-Islami led by Engineer Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, which has a long history of jihad against the Russian army and in Afghanistan. Hekmatyar was considered an important jihadist movement leader. He was against the US invasion of Afghanistan. When the US was invading Afghanistan, he was in Iran. He said that if the United States invaded Afghanistan, Hezb-e-Islami would fight against it. With the US invasion, Mr Hekmatyar declared jihad against the US. Mr. Hekmatyar secretly came from Iran to Afghanistan and hid in Kunar province, from where he arranged the war while the Taliban were engaged in negotiating a peace deal with Mr. Karzai and many of them were looking for shelter for themselves and their families. Mr. Hekmatyar was blacklisted by the US State Defense Department in 2003 and declared a reward for capturing him. The policy of the Mujahideen of Hezb-e-Islami, led by Hekmatyar, was not to fight the Afghan forces as much as possible, but to attack the so-called invaders directly, but for Taliban the US, NATO and Afghan troops were same, they would attack anyone of them if they could. Similarly, there were clear differences in reconciliation programs of the two Jihadi movements. The Taliban wanted to negotiate directly with the United States, but later in the peace talks and they did so. Hezb-e-Islami signed a peace agreement with the Afghan government on September 29, 2016, and its peace talks were purely inter-Afghan. However, the Taliban then signed an agreement with the United States after 11 controversial rounds.
Until the end of 2003, the struggle of Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami against the US and the Afghan government was very slow and intangible. The Afghan government had also extended its sovereignty to almost entire Afghanistan. It was safe and everyone, whether internal or external, could go anywhere, but in 2004, their opponents intensified their attacks against foreign forces in various provinces. These foreign forces were considered invaders by almost every Afghan, the resistance escalated, with Hizb-e-Islami secretly (albeit secret) but the Taliban somewhat openly prepared their groups. Both Jehadi movements, started attacking their enemies mostly the foreign invaders. The resistance was initially in the southern, eastern provinces of Afghanistan and near Kabul, which gradually spread to other provinces, but in the north, due to the Northern Alliance, which had strong ties with the United States and NATO’s European countries and largely held state power, resistance was notice only in sporadic areas, mostly in Pashtun-dominated areas, most of which belonged to Hezb-e-Islami. In 2010, conflict between President Hamid Karzai and US forces escalated over-night-raids and indiscriminate bombings that killed large numbers of civilians, and at the end of that year, Taliban also decided to make their fighters ready in the northern provinces. In 2012, the United States announced that it was withdrawing most of its troops from Afghanistan in 2014. Taliban mostly focused on northern provinces and began serious movements except Panjsher and Bamyan which was intense enemies of Taliban.
The disputed presidential election and the peace process
The first presidential elections were held on October 1, 2004, in which Hamid Karzai was declared the winner and elected president for a five-year term. However, Hamid Karzai was not able to form a truly-Afghan government that could serve the Afghan people. On one hand, his government was full of corruption such as bribery, employment in return of money that almost every employee of the government was involved in, claiming governmental lands. On the other hand, the anti-government elements’ movements against him were expanding day by day. In 2009, the presidential elections were held for second time. This time the election was thoroughly rigged. Despite of much controversy, foreign interference and deals, Hamid Karzai was declared the winner. This time Karzai’s government was facing not only corruption, incompetent administration and reckless foreign interference, but also a growing insurgency, which spread to the southern, eastern and central provinces of the country. It was also expanding to the north. In 2011, the Afghan government called on Taliban to join the peace process, which the Taliban rejected by saying, “You have no authority, we want to negotiate directly with the United States.” On June 18, 2013, an office was opened in Doha, the capital of Qatar, with a US-backed political address for the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai showed a backlash against it and considered it against his authority. He called it a conspiracy and pressured the United States through various channels to lower the flag of the Taliban Islamic Emirate and close the office, but despite some difficulties, the office was initially weak, but then became stronger, hundreds of Taliban leaders from inside and outside the country, especially from Pakistan, went to Qatar. Some of them went to Qatar with their families, and later began peace talks in the 2018.
Presidential elections were held again in 2014, but this time Hamid Karzai could not participate due to legal restrictions. The election turned into a major tussle between two strong candidates, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. After that, it had a devastating effect on Afghanistan’s social, political and economic development. The election was marred by widespread fraud, with Afghans already deeply distrustful of the election, with very few people taking part. No-one was able to win the elections, so the election between the two candidates went to second round which turned into a major political controversy, accusing each other of fraud. After months of controversy, power was divided equally between the two candidates under the auspices of US Foreign minister, John Kerry, under the name of national unity. They formed a coalition government, with Ashraf Ghani as president and Dr. Abdullah as chief executive. They then divided the cabinet equally and the ministries of each one were identified, under which the five-year term was fraught with intense controversy, opposition, dissatisfaction and all-round challenges. Civil war reached its climax, anti-government activities were going on all over Afghanistan, the public turned away from the government due to incompetence and distrust. The casualties of Afghan police, national army and national security forces was escalating day by day and the was almost exclusively between Afghans. The Americans and other NATO allies took out their forces from large bases to prevent casualties and then gradually withdraw a great portion of them from Afghanistan. The clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces were getting serious day by day and the casualties were increasing.
Ordinary Afghans had high hopes and expectations form Ashraf Ghani, who, as promised, would open the door to peace once he came to power. According to some Taliban leaders, he met with a number of Taliban representatives in Duabi. Ashraf Ghani asked them to allow elections to be held in the areas under the control of Taliban, in return of which he would do peace with the Taliban and will not sign a bilateral defense agreement with the United States that Karzai had refused to sign. But Ashraf Ghani signed the agreement on the second day of his rule and pursued an anti-peace policy that frustrated the Taliban and stepped up their attacks. The Taliban previously had control over more than 60 percent of Afghanistan’s territory, but since then they escalated their battles. In September 2015, they took the control of the northern province of Kunduz for the first time which is an important and strategic province. It came under the full control of Taliban and they gained more weapons, equipment and ammunition. It was recaptured by Afghan forces a few days later in heavy fighting and casualties. The September, 28, 2019, presidential elections were again held, which was marred by widespread fraud, became a major source of controversy, with candidates accusing each other of fraud and betrayal. Apparently, the two most popular candidates, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, swore allegiance in separate meetings on the same day and both declared themselves presidents. Abdullah was forced to accept the presidency of the High Reconciliation Council and Ashraf Ghani became president and as before a coalition government was formed in which the cabinet would be equally divided between the two candidates.
Peace with the Taliban, withdrawal of American troops and re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate
Ashraf Ghani’s government tried to negotiate directly with the Taliban, but the Taliban did not trust them and did not keep their promises at first. On the other hand, they did not want negotiate with them because they had no authority in making decisions and wanted to negotiate directly with the United States. At the same time, the Taliban, in line with their demands and policies for peace, began peace talks with the United States informally which were weakly. However, the talks escalated in the 2019, when the two sides held 11 rounds of difficult negotiations in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and finally reached an agreement. On February, 29, 2020, the two sides signed an agreement. According to agreement, the United States would withdraw its troops within 14 months, would not attack the Taliban, and Taliban agreed that the Afghan soil would not be used against anyone else. They will open the way for US troops to withdraw, stop attack. In the first step, 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released and will start inter-Afghan talks within 10 days. The Taliban halted its military operations against US forces and opened a difficult phase of negotiations with the Afghan government, but the process was hampered by the Afghan government’s intransigence, anti-peace policy and lack of a unified position. Within six months, The government only managed to appoint a 21-member delegation to negotiate, but because the delegation did not have a unified position and full authority, the talks were weak and the Taliban also felt overwhelmed that the US agreed to withdraw its troops and besides, they had the control of major parts of Afghanistan, as the fighting intensified, peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban stalled, and the US presidential elections and Joe Biden’s victory in it disrupted the process of timely withdrawal of US troops, until the US unilaterally extended the withdrawal period for another four and half months after completing the 14-month period and announced that All their troops will leave Afghanistan by August 31. The failure of inter-Afghan talks led to an increase in Taliban attacks on Afghan forces and the subjugation of a number of southern and northern provinces in July. The process of taking provinces got faster and with the passage of each day limited the control area of Afghan Government. Finally, they captured Kabul on August 31 and entire Afghanistan once again came under the control of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. At the same time, President Ashraf fled to Dubai with his team, and US troops only gathered at Kabul airport to take with them Afghan colleagues who had worked with them for the last 20 years.
On August 15, the Taliban reasserted their sovereignty over Afghanistan, with the exception of Panjshir Dara. All their enemies who had built islands of power in last twenty years, such as General Dostum and Ata Mohammad Noor in north and Ismail Khan in Herat were defeated in the war despite their best efforts, fled Afghanistan. Kabul was captured without a fight and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was declared as the government system of Afghanistan after fierce fighting for twenty years. In Panjshir, where many anti-Taliban figures went from Kabul and other provinces, they wanted to resist under the name of Resistance Party led by Ahmad Massoud, the son of slain former commander of Shora-e-Nazar, Ahmad Shah Massoud. Taliban initially told them to reconcile, giving them a few days to surrender, but they offered conditions that were unacceptable to the Taliban. Therefore, Taliabn attacked Panjshir from four sides. The resistance was crushed and Panjshir came under full control of Taliban on September 6. With this, the Taliban were able to take control of all the land and air of Afghanistan and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took the power. The Taliban first announced its interim cabinet, headed by Raees al-Waza, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, and two of his deputies, who he said would be the acting cabinet, necessary changes will be made in the future.
The biggest challenge for the Taliban now is to be recognized by the international community. So far no country or international organization has been willing to do so. Some countries have suggested a number of changes: multi-ethnic government, respecting human rights, freedom of speech and women’s rights are the important ones. Another major challenge they face is the payment of salaries to government employees whose fate is uncertain due to weak budgets, as well as the problem of poverty and unemployment in the country, which is unprecedented. Increasingly, the issue of internal legitimacy is another challenge, with many criticizing the current cabinet and appointees for keeping only their own members, most of them mullahs, in the cabinet and not giving chance to anyone else. As well as former government officials have unknown fate. There are a number of other challenges, such as their unfamiliarity with the system, the satisfaction of the Afghan people, their uncertain relations with neighboring Pakistan, and many more.
 (Kakar, Mohammad Hassan, 2010, Journey to homeland, The Taliban and Islamic Fundamentalism, Danish printing company, Kabul)
 (Dum, Betty, 2019, Secret Life of Mullah Mohammad Omar, Zomia Center, 2019)
 (Center for Strategic and Regional Studies (CSRS), Story of a few Years old Invasion, 2013, Kabul)
 (Omar, Maulawi Ghulamullah, 2021, The Re-rise of Taliban, Kabul)
 (Saeed, Qari Abdulsatar, 2021, Third Omar, Al-Jihad Publishing Organization, Kuetta, Pakistan)
 (BBC Pashto Website, Mula Omar – Secret Life of Mula Omar from Taliban Leadership to death, 29th July, 2015) https://www.bbc.com/pashto/afghanistan/2015/07/150729_aa-mullah-omar-biography
 (Nunn.asia.com webpage different articles)