WHO ARE the Taliban?

Austere rule

The Taliban emerged in the early nineties in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

Symbol copyright AFP/Getty Pictures Image caption The Taliban have introduced a sequence of fatal attacks in Kabul – including one at the Afghan parliament in June 2015

A predominantly Pashtun motion, the Taliban got here to prominence in Afghanistan in the autumn of 1994.

It is often believed that they first seemed in religious seminaries – mostly paid for through cash from Saudi Arabia – which preached a troublesome line form of Sunni Islam.

The Taliban’s promise – in Pashtun spaces straddling Pakistan and Afghanistan – used to be to revive peace and security and implement their very own austere version of Sharia, or Islamic law, as soon as in power.

In each international locations they introduced or supported Islamic punishments – reminiscent of public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers and amputations of these discovered guilty of theft.

Men had been required to develop beards and women had to put on the all-overlaying burka.

The Taliban banned tv, music and cinema and disapproved of ladies elderly 10 and over from going to school.

Symbol copyright AFP/Getty Pictures Symbol caption Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was once killed in a US drone strike in 2013

The Taliban in Afghanistan have been accused of offering a sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda motion who have been blamed for the attacks.

Soon after NINE/ELEVEN the Taliban had been driven from energy in Afghanistan by means of a US-led coalition, although their chief Mullah Mohammad Omar was not captured.

In latest years the Taliban re-emerged in Afghanistan and grew some distance stronger in Pakistan, the place observers say there’s loose co-ordination among different Taliban factions and militant groups.

The primary Pakistani faction was once led by way of Hakimullah Mehsud till his loss of life. His Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is blamed for dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks.

Observers warn in opposition to over-declaring the life of one unified insurgency towards the Pakistani state, however.

For years the Taliban in Afghanistan were led by way of Mullah Omar, a village clergyman who misplaced his proper eye preventing the occupying forces of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Afghans, weary of the mujahideen’s excesses and infighting after the Soviets were pushed out, normally welcomed the Taliban after they first seemed on the scene.

Their early reputation was largely as a result of their luck in stamping out corruption, curtailing lawlessness and making the roads and the spaces under their control secure for trade to flourish.

US onslaught

From south-western Afghanistan, the Taliban briefly extended their influence.

They captured the province of Herat, bordering Iran, in September 1995.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was once shot by means of Taliban gunmen in October 2012

Precisely 12 months later, they captured the Afghan capital, Kabul, after overthrowing the regime of President Burhanuddin Rabbani and his defence minister, Ahmed Shah Masood.

By 1998, they had been in control of almost 90% of Afghanistan.

They have been accused of various human rights and cultural abuses. One notorious instance used to be in 2001, when the Taliban went ahead with the destruction of the well-known Bamiyan Buddha statues in primary Afghanistan, despite global outrage.

On October 7, 2001, a US-led military coalition invaded Afghanistan and by the first week of December the Taliban regime had collapsed.

Mullah Omar and his comrades evaded seize despite one in all the most important manhunts within the global.

Many senior Taliban leaders take refuge within the Pakistani town of Quetta, from the place they guide the Taliban, analysts say.

however the existence of what’s dubbed the “Quetta Shura” is denied by Islamabad, despite the fact that there may be so much evidence to the contrary.

Despite ever higher numbers of foreign troops, the Taliban have incessantly prolonged their affect, rendering huge tracts of Afghanistan insecure, and violence within the country has lower back to ranges not noticed because 2001.

Their retreat in the years after 2001 enabled them to limit their human and subject matter losses and return with a vengeance.

There had been a large number of Taliban attacks on Kabul in recent years and, in September 2012, the crowd performed a top-profile raid on Nato’s Camp Bastion base.

In the similar month the u.s. army passed regulate of the arguable Bagram prison – housing more than THREE,000 Taliban fighters and terrorism suspects – to the Afghan authorities.

In September 2015 the Taliban seized control of a provincial capital for the primary time due to the fact their defeat in 2001, taking regulate of the strategically essential town of Kunduz.

The US is keeping with regards to 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, however the Taliban finds itself an increasingly more splintered service provider – that is also threatened by way of the upward push of the so-referred to as Islamic State militant workforce in Afghanistan.

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