Tuesday, June 9, 2009

THE TALIBAN RESURGENCE

Penned by SHRI BHARATH VAISHNOV

The Taliban was founded by Mullah Mohammed Omar. It was formed at a time when Afghans were being tormented by the Mujahideen warlords. As a result Taliban enjoyed enormous support among the afghans initially. Taliban managed to alleviate afghans by subduing the influence of Afghan warlords. However they later revised their goals and decided to overthrow the afghan government as they were against the secular nature of the government.

Taliban got a major impetus from US during the cold war era when US used Taliban as a shield to prevent soviet union from occupying Afghanistan. This was the period when Osama bin laden rose in stature. Osama came down from sudan and forged relationship with Omar. Thus Taliban and Al-qaeda came together. US poured funds and arms into Afghanistan and by 1987, 65,000 tons of U.S.-made weapons and ammunition a year were entering the war. With the help of their burgeoning resources thanks to the backing of CIA and ISI they managed to capture Kandahar in 1994 and Kabul in 1996 and thus took control of government in Afghanistan. The Taliban implemented one of the "strictest interpretations of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world".

After the cold war, US deserted Taliban and left Taliban to fight out on its own. The aid stopped coming and this irked the leaders of Taliban. They decided to wage war against the western world through al-qaeda. This resulted in attacks on US and various other countries by way of attacking establishments, abduction and execution of citizens. The flash point in US Taliban relationship was when an al-qaeda attack bulldozed world trade centre which was the heart of US business world.

The Taliban refused to extradite Osama Bin Laden who was believed to be the mastermind behind the attack. US along with its allies launched a major offensive against Taliban in 2001. The stated intent of military operations was to remove the Taliban from power because of the Taliban's refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden for his alleged involvement in the 11 September attacks, and disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations. On 14 October 2001 the Taliban offered to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted bombing, but only if the Taliban were given evidence of Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11. The U.S. rejected this offer as an insufficient public relations ploy and continued military operations. The war resulted in decimation of Taliban cadres in Afghanistan and the disappearance of Osama bin laden. Following this war against Taliban , a democratic government was established with Hamid Karzai as the head of government. The strength of Taliban in Afghanistan was reduced drastically.Despite the complete dismantling of terror infrastructure in Afghanistan, Taliban managed to cling on by way of guerilla attacks on various government establishments.

After the invasion, the Taliban managed to regroup by drawing in new recruits from the madrasas in pashtun dominated regions. The Taliban resurgence had begun. This has been confirmed by the ground forces at Afghanistan who claim that they are losing control of their respected areas. The most notable sign was the rioting in May after a street accident in the city of Kabul. 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, leads to the observation that Taliban forces and leaders are surviving and will have some influence over the future of Afghanistan.

The pashtun dominated SWAT valley in Pakistan had provided greener pastures for Taliban. The Taliban has managed to groom many terror organizations like Let, Jud which are a major threat for our nation. The complete implementation of Sharia law in SWAT is a sign of the presence of Taliban in Pakistan.

On February 11 2009, the Taliban struck at three government buildings, including that of the Ministry of Justice, in the heart of Kabul, killing 20 persons. More than 50 were injured in the attacks, in which explosives and Kalashnikov rifles were used; eight gunmen were killed by the Afghan security forces. The February 11 attacks, hoodwinking all the security deployment in most of Kabul, cannot be viewed in isolation. There have been indiscriminate kidnapping adventures by the Taliban and its associates in the neighbouring regions of Pakistan, especially in the Swat valley of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which is virtually under militant control despite a huge Pakistani Army presence.

Pakistan has apparently launched an offensive against Taliban in SWAT valley and is believed to have made some progress in SWAT. However these reports can’t be trusted consider the dubious nature of Pakistan. Taliban though had no hard feelings against India in the initial years, the recent suicide attack on Indian embassy shows the growing growing hostility between India and Taliban. It’s time we step up and make ourselves well equipped to fight Taliban as we can’t afford one more Mumbai.

No comments:

Post a Comment