Novelist Khalid Hosseini beautifully described the first regime of the Taliban in the second part of his book ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’. After the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan, a guerrilla war started between different militias. Gulbadeen’s men were targeting Ahmad Shah Masood’s fighters, and Dostum’s army was trying to overthrow the puppet government by killing hundreds of innocent people. Everyone just wanted to assume Kabul’s control at any cost. No matter how many lost life, widowed, orphaned, or crippled. Everything comes at a price. So, these militias were proving this quotation right to gain power. Kabul was divided into blocks like this belongs to Masood and vice versa. This war almost lasted for ten years until the Taliban took over the control of Kabul.
People were grateful because the war was over. Most cheered and welcomed the Taliban. But, within days, everyone came to know that hard time was not over yet, especially for women. After some days of holding control, the Taliban announced that women could not go outside without their mahram. Female schools and colleges were shut down. Male doctors were restricted to only treating male patients. Men were prohibited from shaving their beards. Music and television were banned. Talib soldiers frequently beat women for going outside without a brother or husband. Men were also facing the wrath of the Taliban for listening to music or shaving their beards.
Citizens of Afghanistan were forced to obey the laws. For almost five years, people lived like birds in cages. Then 9/11 happened. Mullah Umar refused to hand over Usama to the US, and Bush decided to wage a war on Al-Qaeda. NATO forces entered the cities of Afghanistan and threw out the Taliban. This was the third time people faced a brutal war for no crime of their own. The NATO forces stayed in Afghanistan for almost twenty years until they succeeded in holding control again. A lot of analysts always glamorised the first regime of the Taliban.
Orya Maqbool Jan, who was a deputy commissioner at that time in Balochistan, was also glorifying the Taliban. Jan often wrote in his columns that people regularly went to Afghanistan to settle their matters. The Taliban were trying their best to bring ease in life of the common people. The people were told that if the Taliban succeeded in taking over Kabul, there would be peace, prosperity, and development. Actually, most people had have the same narrative about Taliban.
Those writing and speaking about humanitarian crises and the Taliban’s crimes after the exclusion of NATO forces from Afghanistan were termed western puppets or Muslim traitors. Taliban’s atrocities were ignored.
Now that the Taliban have regained power, they have once again resorted to violence and once again the world is ignoring their crimes. The Afghans must be supported in standing up against the Taliban.