Its been almost two decades since Afghanistan was invaded by the United States. That means its been two decades since the United States launched what could’ve become its longest-ever war with airstrikes. This war would happen on Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban regime. Currently, the hardline group are in a stronger position than ever. The invasion was done by the US in the year 2001. More specifically October 7, 2001. This invasion quickly toppled the militants who harboured the Al- Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was the group was behind the September 11 attacks in the same year. The September 11 attacks killed nearly 3000 people in America just weeks earlier.
Its been nineteen years since the brutal Islamist regime- Taliban collapsed. Now they’re making a comeback, and are pushing for a return to power. They have signed a landmark troop withdrawal deal with Washington in the month of February. Now they’re busy holding peace talks with the Afghan government. Afghanistan is fearful that the Taliban might have changed since their darkest regime.
The darkest days of their regime included
- When they killed women of accused adultery
- Attacked minority religious groups
- Barred girls from going to school.
What Was The Taliban Regime Like?
“I remember the Taliban regime like a nightmare. We are scared of our future and my daughters future” – A Kabul resident Katayoun Ahmadi, a 26-year-old mother.
Kataya Ahmadi recalls severed hands and fingers on the streets of Kabul during the regime. This was done as a punishments for petty crimes under Taliban’s strict interpretations of Sharia law. The 2001 invasion heralded some enduring improvements for the younger generations of Afghans, more specifically girls. Theses improvements include
- Right to Education.
As for the peace talks that have been happening in Doha, which started last month Taliban has revealed little to nothing regarding the more pressing issues. The more pressing issues include women rights or freedom of expression, both of which sit at the top of the list.
What Do The Afghan’s Have To Say About This?
Ahmadi’s husband Farzad Farnoor, 35, a researcher for the Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Studies. He said there has been a rise in Taliban’s violence since the deal was signed. The deal signed between the hardline group and the Washington shows that the militants have not changed.
As a counter question he was asked if this was creating hpes for Afghans? To that question, he answered “No, its not.”
As a teenager Farzad Farnoor witnessed Taliban stoning a woman to death. The worst part was that the pubic didn’t even do anything. He also experienced public executions and floggings in Kabul’s football stadium. Farzad’s family had to hide their antenna in a tree when they banned music and entertainment.
“All the achievements we have made in the last 18 years did not exist in the Taliban era” said Farzad Farnoor.
When another Taliban spokesperson was asked to comment, he declined.
He is a former isurgent who battled foreign troops and Afghan Government forces for four years. He revealed that Taliban was pushing for “the establishment of an Islamic system.” This is after the Afghani constitutions gives primacy to religion.
“We have No Problem With Girls getting an education or working, but they have to wear a hijab.” Zia-Ul-Rahman said