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List of Taliban’s atrocities and crimes in Afghanistan

Those who insist on distinction between the TTP and Afghan Taliban should (be forced to) read this:

LUBP Editor’s note: Lately, apologists of the Takfiri Deobandi Taliban (i.e., members and supporters of PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-N, Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ-LeJ), JUI-F, JUI-S, pro-ISI fake liberals etc) are trying to present Afghan Taliban as a separate entity from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). They argue that Afghan Taliban are noble, Islamic, humanist souls who must be distinguished from the TTP which is a CIA-RAW-Mossad funded anti-Pakistan terrorist group. The argument is flawed on more than one accounts (both TTP and Afghan Taliban consider Mullah Omar as their Ameer-ul-Momineen, Mullah Omar has never dissociated from or condemned TTP’s activities, both groups have blurry boundaries with overlapping membership, both follow Deobandi sub-sect of Sunni Islam, and both are supported by Deobandi madrassas and clerics etc).

In this post we de-construct the false notion that Afghan Taliban are any better (or different) creatures than TTP. We are publishing an incomplete list of Taliban’s crimes against humanity, e.g., massacre of 8000 Shia Hazaras and Sunni Uzbeks by (Takfiri Deobandi) Taliban in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in August 1998 – After the capture of Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998 the Taliban indulged in the “frenzied killing of shop owners, cart pullers, women and children shoppers”. Women and girls were raped, and thousands of civilians, mainly ethnic Hazaras, were massacred.; murder of 26 Ismaili Shias by Taliban in May 2000 at Robatak Pass, mass execution of Shia Hazara people in Yakawlang District of Bamyan province in January 2001 – The public execution in Yakaolang of at least 170 civilians, mainly from humanitarian organisations. “According to Amnesty International, eyewitnesses reported the deliberate killing of dozens of civilians hiding in a mosque.”; murder of 10 Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e-Sharif in August 1998. In 1998, the United Nations accused the Taliban of denying emergency food by the UN’s World Food Programme to 160,000 hungry and starving people (most of whom were Hazaras and Tajiks) “for political and military reasons”. The UN said the Taliban were starving people for their military agenda and using humanitarian assistance as a weapon of war. Other most despicable atrocities include: The “castration” of the former Afghan president, Najibullah in 1996. The Taliban “dragged his body behind a jeep for several rounds of the palace and then shot him dead”. The 1998 massacre of 600 Uzbeks in the province of Faryab. “Western aid workers… said civilians were dragged from their homes, lined up and shot.” Other reports include accounts from refugees and human rights groups of the beating of infants, killing of children and hanging of bodies from lampposts. The list is incomplete and will be updated in the next few days. End note

Background

The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist (Deobandi) militant movement of Pashtun tribesmen created by Punjabi generals of Pakistan army and Salafist princes and clerics of Saudi Arabia. It ruled large parts of Afghanistan and its capital, Kabul, as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from September 1996 until October 2001. It gained diplomatic recognition from three Takfiri Jihadi states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The main leader of the Taliban movement is a Deobandi cleric Mullah Mohammed Omar, and Kandahar is considered the birthplace of the Taliban. While in power, it enforced its strict interpretation of Sharia law, and leading Muslims have been highly critical of the Taliban’s interpretations of Islamic law.The Taliban were condemned internationally for their brutal repression of women and ethnic and religious minority groups. The majority of their leaders were influenced by Takfiri Deobandi fundamentalism, and many also corrupted the the social and cultural norm called Pashtunwali under Punjabi-Arabi-Chechen influences. The Taliban movement is primarily made up of members belonging to Pashtun tribes, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan; however, it also has a considerable members of Punjabi Taliban (Sipah-e-Sahaba) and some Baloch Deobandi members (Jundullah). From 1995-2001, the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and military are widely alleged by the international community to have provided support to the Taliban. Pakistan has been accused by many international officials of continuing to support the Taliban and affiliated groups (LeJ/ASWJ, JeM etc) today.

8000 Shia Hazara and Sunni Uzbeks and Tajiks were massacred by Taliban in August 1998 in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Taliban and their sponsors and affiliates want us to forget their crimes

Presumably the Taliban, their two main affiliates Al Qaeda and Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ-Lashkar-e-Jhangvi) and their key sponsors (Pakistan Army, Saudi Salafist Sheikhs) would like the world to “forget” about Taliban-ASWJ’s atrocities against the innocent.

Below are a few of many examples from their growing catalogue of terrorist atrocities.

ATROCITY

“Among the accounts of mutilations, beatings and arbitrary executions there was evidence of a new abomination: the torture of children. An unknown number of infants were savagely beaten during the Islamic militia’s 14-month occupation of Taloqan, the former headquarters of the Alliance, usually for the supposed crimes of their parents.” (Source: The Times [U.K.], 11/13/01)

ATROCITY

“The barbarity of the Taliban plumbed new depths when troops shot dead eight boys for daring to laugh, sickened refugees revealed yesterday. The teenage lads had been chuckling at the soldiers who suddenly raised their Kalashnikov rifles and gunned them down. It was one of a string of atrocities in the besieged Afghanistan city of Kunduz, which was last night poised to fall to the Northern Alliance. At least 300 frightened Taliban were killed by men from their own side because they wanted to surrender.” (Source: The Sun [U.K.], 11/19/01)

ATROCITY

“The Taliban is jailing children as young as 10 in Kabul to root out dissent, it is claimed today. According to French journalist Michel Peyrard, who was held by the Taliban for 25 days, the biggest threat to the extremist regime is its own paranoia. He said his fellow detainees included several children. On one occasion the nephews of an escaped political prisoner – aged 10, 13 and 19 – were rounded up. The eldest was tortured and subjected to a mock execution. The Taliban also jails leaders and military commanders for being traitors on only the flimsiest evidence.” (Source: The Evening Standard (London), 11/9/01) ATROCITY

“One day they came, and ordered everyone to go into the bazaar and protest against the bombings, and chant: ‘Death to America’,” said Salahuddin. “I was in my house and I had to go outside. When we refused to protest against America, they got angry.” Another man who fled the village said he saw the Taliban drag a man called Lash Boi from his house to the mosque and beat him to death when he refused to protest. Lash Boi’s three sons are on the front line now, fighting to avenge their father’s death, he said.” (Source: The Independent (U.K.), 11/9/01)

ATROCITY

“When the family returned six hours later they found that Abdul’s right femur had been shattered by repeated blows from a Kalashnikov, the stock of the rifle leaving a clear imprint on the floor of the family’s home. Doctors gave Nurala a couple of packets of paracetamol and bluntly told him that his son would never walk again. ‘He was in so much pain for a long time, and it changed his mind as well,’ Nurala said. ‘I don’t understand how anyone can do such a thing to a small child. I have spoken to many people about this and nobody understands it.’ There are many others in Taloqan who have similar stories of children being beaten in front of their parents because their fathers were unable to hand over a weapon to the Taleban, of men who had a hand amputated when they were accused of stealing the bread that they carried home to their families, and of women who were raped after their husbands were taken away and imprisoned in Kandahar or Mazar-i Sharif.” (Source: The Times [U.K.], 11/13/01)

ATROCITY

“‘They burnt some of us alive.’ It was almost the first thing he said to us. In the dust and squalor of a refugee camp, Salahuddin told yesterday how the Taliban burnt an entire family to death in their own home in revenge for the American bombing. He says he saw them bringing out the blackened bodies of the children. Then the Taliban took Salahuddin and the other villagers to the front line, where they ordered them to gather up scattered bits of bodies, all that was left of Taliban soldiers killed by the American bombs.” (Source: The Independent U.K. 11/9/01)

ATROCITY

“‘The Taliban commanders killed 100 of our friends,’ said this defector, adding, ‘They hung their bodies from lamp posts as a warning to the rest of us.'” (Source: CBS Evening News, 11/19/01)

ATROCITY

“One said a doctor was shot dead for not treating a wounded Taliban soldier quickly enough, while others said a group of eight teenage boys were killed for laughing at Taliban soldiers.” (Source: The Herald (Scotland), 11/19/01)

ATROCITY

“Foreign Taliban soldiers, who have gathered in Kunduz for what appears to be a last stand, have gunned down more than 400 Afghan Taliban soldiers trying to defect to the Northern Alliance, the refugees and the alliance soldiers said. The 400 were killed in mass shootings late last week, refugees said, and were prompted in part by the defection of a local Taliban commander to the Northern Alliance. According to the reports, Arab and Pakistani soldiers with the Taliban have also begun shooting young civilian men of the Uzbek and Tajik ethnic groups suspected of trying to escape to territory controlled by the Northern Alliance. ‘The foreigners came into the village and shot all the men,’ said Muhammadullah, a 21-year-old man who crossed into Northern Alliance territory today. ‘I saw this with my own eyes.'” (Source: The New York Times, 11/19/01)

ATROCITY

“Foreign Taliban soldiers also killed dozens of Afghan Taliban soldiers on Friday at the village of Musazai near the Kunduz airport, refugees and Northern Alliance soldiers said. Refugees fleeing Kunduz said foreign Taliban soldiers had gunned down 125 Afghan Taliban soldiers who had been stopped on their way to the front lines. The foreign Taliban soldiers seem to have decided that the local Taliban were trying to defect. When they tried to stop them, a fight began and the foreign Taliban opened fire, the refugees said.” (Source: The New York Times, 11/19/01)

ATROCITY

“The BBC has confirmed that the central Afghan town of Bamiyan was totally destroyed by the Taleban before they fled over the weekend. Evidence has also emerged of Bosnian-style ethnic cleansing in the region involving the execution of hundreds of local ethnic Hazara men.” (Source: BBC News, 11/13/01)

ATROCITY

“Our correspondent said every building, shop and house had been destroyed before the town fell on Sunday after a two-hour gun battle.” (Source: BBC News, 11/13/01)

ATROCITY

September 1996 — Upon capturing Kabul the Taliban castrated President Najibullah, dragged his body behind a jeep for several rounds of the Palace and then shot him dead. His brother was similarly tortured and then throttled to death. (Source: Department of Defense)

ATROCITY

January 1998 — In the Western province of Faryab, the Taliban massacred approximately 600 Uzbek villageres. Western aid workers who later investigated the incident said civilians were dragged from their homes, lined up and gunned down. (Source: Department of Defense)

ATROCITY

August 1998 — The Taliban entered Mazar-I-Sharif and went on a frenzy killing shop owners, cart pullers, women and children shoppers. (Source: Department of Defense)

ATROCITY

August 2000 — Taliban execute POWs in the streets of Heart as a lesson to the local population. (Source: Department of Defense)

ATROCITY

June 2001 — Taliban bombed the administrative center of Yakaolang, including the district hospital and an aid agency office. (Source: Department of Defense)

ATROCITY

Massacre at Yakaolang — Taliban forces committed a massacre in Yakaolang in January 2001. The victims were primarily Hazaras. The massacre began on January 8, 2001, and continued for four days. The Taliban detained about 300 civilian adult males, including staff members of local humanitarian organizations. The men were herded to assembly points, and then shot by firing squad in public view. According to Human Rights Watch, about 170 men are confirmed to have been killed. According to Amnesty International, eyewitnesses reported the deliberate killing of dozens of civilians hiding in a mosque: Taliban soldiers fired rockets into a mosque where some 73 women, children and elderly men had taken shelter. (Source: State Department)

ATROCITY

Massacre at Robatak Pass — The May 2000 massacre took place near the Robatak pass. 31 bodies were found one site, of these, 26 were positively identified as civilians. The victims were Hazara Shi’as. (Source: State Department)

ATROCITY

Massacre in Bamiyan — When the Taliban recaptured Bamiyan in 1999, there were reports that Taliban forces carried out summary executions upon entering the city. According to Amnesty International, hundreds of men, and some instances women and children, were separated from their families, taken away, and killed. Human Rights Watch reports that besides executing civilians, the Taliban burned homes and used detainees for forced labor. (Source: State Department)

ATROCITY

Massacre in the Shomaili Plains — July 1999 Human Rights Watch reports that a Taliban offensive here was marked by summary executions, the abduction and disappearance of women, the burning of homes, destruction of property, and the cutting down of fruit trees. According to a report by the U.N. Secretary General on November 16, 1999, “The Taliban forces, who allegedly carried out these acts, essentially treated the civilian population with hostility and made no distinction between combatants and non-combatants.” (Source: U.S. State Department)

ATROCITY

Massacre in Mazar-I-Sharif — In August 1998, the Taliban captured Mazar-I-Sharif. There were reports that between 2,000 and 5,000 men, women and children — mostly ethnic Hazara civilians — were massacred by the Taliban after the takeover of Mazar-I-Sharif. During the massacre, the Taliban forces carried out a systematic search for male members for the ethnic Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek communities in the city. Human Rights Watch estimates that scores, perhaps hundreds, of Hazara men and boys were summarily executed. There were also reports that women and girls were raped and abducted during the Taliban takeover of the city.

Educate yourself about the Taliban by Dr. Taimur Rahman

We must educate ourselves about what the Taliban represent.

Here are some of the laws issued by the Taliban government in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

The Talibanic Laws 1996-2001

1.      “A denier of veil is an infidel and an unveiled woman is lewd. Conditions of wearing veil”:
2.      The veil must cover the whole body.
3.      Women’s clothes must not be thin.
4.      Women’s clothes must not be decorated and colourful.
5.      Women’s clothes must not be narrow and tight to prevent the seditious limbs
6.      from being noticed. The veil must not be thin.
7.      Women must not perfume themselves. If a perfumed woman passes by a crowd of
8.      men, she is considered to be an adulteress.
9.      Women’s clothes must not resemble men’s clothes.
10.     Muslim women’s clothes must not resemble non-Muslim women’s clothes.
11.     Their foot ornaments must not produce sound.
12.     They must not wear sound-producing garments.
13.     They must not walk in the middle of streets.
14.     They must not go out of their houses without their husband’s permission.
15.     They must not talk to strange men.
16.     If it is necessary to talk, they must talk in a low voice and without laughter.
17.     They must not look at strangers.
18.     They must not mix with strangers.”
19.     All ground and first floor residential windows should be painted over or screened to prevent women being visible from the street. A Taliban representative explained that “the face of a woman is a source of corruption for men who are not related to them”.
20.     The photographing or filming of women was banned as was displaying pictures of females in newspapers, books, shops or the home.
21.     The modification of any place names that included the word “women.” For example, “women’s garden” was renamed “spring garden”.
22.     Women were forbidden to appear on the balconies of their apartments or houses.
23.     Ban on women’s presence on radio, television or at public gatherings of any kind.
24.     Ban on women riding bicycles or motorcycles, even with their mahrams.
25.     Women were forbidden from riding in a taxi without a mahram.
26.     Segregated bus services introduced to prevent males and females traveling on the same bus.
27.     Are forbidden to work outside the home. On September 30th 1996 the Taliban decreed that all women should be banned from employment. Some 25 percent of government employees were female. All lost their employment. Elementary education of children, not just girls, was shut down in Kabul, where virtually all of the elementary school teachers were women.
28.     Are banned from studying in schools or universities.
29.     Are not allowed to gather for any recreational purposes.
30.     Are prohibited from practicing family planning.
31.     Cannot be treated by male doctors.
32.     Cannot be operated upon by a surgical team containing a male member.
33.     Are banned from playing sports or entering a sport center or club.
34.     Have no legal recourse. A woman cannot petition the court directly; her testimony is worth half a man’s testimony.
35.     Are publicly stoned and sometimes executed if accused of having sex outside of marriage.
36.     Are forbidden to deal with male shopkeepers or talk or shake hands with men outside their families.
37.     Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with
38.     Taliban rules, or of women unaccompanied by a mahram.
39.     Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.
40.     Public stoning of women accused of having sex outside marriage. (A number of
41.     lovers are stoned to death under this rule).
42.     Ban on women washing clothes next to rivers or in a public place.
43.     Ban on male tailors taking women’s measurements or sewing women’s clothes.
44.     Ban on female public baths.
45.     Ban on flared (wide) pant-legs, even under a burqa.
46.     Banned the watching of movies, television and videos, for everyone.
47.     Banned celebrating the traditional new year (Nowroz) on March 21. The Taliban
48.     has proclaimed the holiday un-Islamic.
49.     Disavowed Labor Day (May 1st), because it is deemed a “communist” holiday.
50.     Ordered that all people with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones.
51.     Forced haircuts upon Afghan youth.
52.     Ordered that men wear Islamic clothes and a cap.
53.     Ordered that men not shave or trim their beards, which should grow long enough
54.     to protrude from a fist clasped at the point of the chin.
55.     Ordered that all people attend prayers in mosques five times daily.
56.     Banned the keeping of pigeons and playing with the birds, describing it as
57.     un-Islamic. The violators will be imprisoned and the birds shall be killed. The
58.     kite flying has also been stopped.
59.     Ordered all onlookers, while encouraging the sportsmen, to chant Allah-o-Akbar
60.     (God is great) and refrain from clapping.
61.     Ban on certain games including kite flying which is “un-Islamic” according to
62.     Taliban.
63.     Anyone who carries objectionable literature will be executed.
64.     Anyone who converts from Islam to any other religion will be executed.
65.     All boy students must wear turbans. They say “No turban, no education”.
66.     Non-Muslim minorities must distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their
67.     dress to be differentiated from the majority Muslim population.
68.     Banned the use of the internet by both ordinary Afghans and foreigners.

Examples of punishments by the Taliban

1.      In October 1996, a woman had the tip of her thumb cut off for wearing nail varnish.
2.      In December 1996, Radio Shari’a announced that 225 Kabul women had been seized and punished for violating the sharia code of dress. The sentence was handed down by a tribunal and the women were lashed on their legs and backs for their misdemeanor.
3.      In March 1997, a married woman, from Laghman Province, was caught attempting to flee the district with another man. The Islamic tribunal found her guilty of adultery and condemned both her and her lover to death by stoning.
4.      In May 1997, 5 female CARE International employees with authorisation from the Ministry of the Interior to conduct research for an emergency feeding programme were forced from their vehicle by members of the religious police. The guards used a public address system to insult and harass the women before striking them with a metal and leather whip over 1.5 meters (almost 5 feet) in length.
5.      In 1999, a mother of seven was executed in front of 30,000 spectators in Kabul’s Ghazi Sport stadium for the murder of her abusive husband. She was imprisoned for 3 years and extensively tortured prior to the execution.
6.      When a Taliban raid discovered a woman running an informal school in her apartment, they beat the children; threw her down a flight of stairs causing her to break her leg; and then imprisoned her. They threatened to publicly stone her family if she didn’t sign a declaration of loyalty to the Taliban and its laws.

The legacy of nearly a decade of fundamentalist rule

1.      Up to now, nearly 79% of Afghan women cannot read nor write.
2.      Maternal mortality rates stood at the highest in the world with nearly 1,900 deaths per 100,000 live births. It is the singular achievement of the Taliban that they managed to reach the highest rate of maternal deaths ever recorded in history in the province of Badakshan: 6,500 deaths per 100,000 births!
3.      Up to 2004, UNICEF recorded more than 26 attacks against girl’s schools.
4.      Enrolment as of 2004 still was at the dismal figure of 9% due to Taliban attacks, propaganda and assassinations of teachers.
5.      57% of women are married off before the age of 16
6.      72% do not know of any form of contraception, nor any way of delaying pregnancy.
7.      Even during conducting the sham elections, registration of women voters recorded the lowest levels in the south of the country: Zabul (9%), Helmand (12%) and Kandahar (27%): precisely the areas that were, and now have again, fallen under Taliban control.
8.      97 percent of women surveyed show symptoms of major depression.
9.      3/4 of the women say their health had declined.
10.     Opium is being taken by the women to ease the pain from inadequate health care.

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  • “How Afghanistan’ s Stern Rulers Took Power,” New York Times, December 31, 1996 by JOHN F. BURNS and STEVE Levine [Link is dead, text is as under]

    When neighbors came to Mullah Mohammed Omar in the spring of 1994, they had a story that was shocking even by the grim standards of Afghanistan’ s 18-year-old civil war.

    Two teen-age girls from the mullah’s village of Singesar had been abducted by one of the gangs of mujahedeen, or ”holy warriors,” who controlled much of the Afghan countryside. The girls’ heads had been shaved, they had been taken to a checkpoint outside the village and they had been repeatedly raped.

    At the time, Mullah Omar was an obscure figure, a former guerrilla commander against occupying Soviet forces who had returned home in disgust at the terror mujahedeen groups were inflicting on Afghanistan.

    He was living as a student, or talib, in a mud-walled religious school that centered on rote learning of the Koran.

    But the girls’ plight moved him to act. Gathering 30 former guerrilla fighters, who mustered between them 16 Kalashnikov rifles, he led an attack on the checkpoint, freed the girls and tied the checkpoint commander by a noose to the barrel of an old Soviet tank. As those around him shouted ”God is Great!” Mullah Omar ordered the tank barrel raised and left the dead man hanging as a grisly warning.

    The Singesar episode is now part of Afghan folklore. Barely 30 months after taking up his rifle, Mullah Omar is the supreme ruler of most of Afghanistan. The mullah, a heavyset 38-year old who lost his right eye in the war against the Russians, is known to his followers as Prince of All Believers. He leads an Islamic religious movement, the Taliban, that has conquered 20 of Afghanistan’ s 32 provinces.

    Mullah Omar’s call to arms in Singesar is only part of the story of the rise of the Taliban that emerged from weeks of traveling across Afghanistan and from scores of interviews with Afghans, diplomats and others who followed the movement from its earliest days in 1994. It is a story that is still unfolding, with the Taliban struggling to consolidate their hold on Kabul, the capital. The city fell three months ago to a Taliban force of a few thousand fighters, who entered the city with barely a shot fired.

    But the Taliban, despite their protestations of independence, did not score their successes alone. Pakistani leaders saw domestic political gains in supporting the movement, which draws most of support from the ethnic Pashtun who predominate along the Pakistan-Afghanista n border.

    Perhaps more important, Pakistan’s leaders, in funneling supplies of ammunition, fuel and food to the Taliban, hoped to advance an old Pakistani dream of linking their country, through Afghanistan, to an economic and political alliance with the Muslim states of Central Asia.

    At crucial moments during the two years of the Taliban’s rise to power, the United States stood aside. It did little to discourage support for the Afghan mullahs both from Pakistan and from another American ally, Saudi Arabia, which found its own reasons for supporting the Taliban in their conservative brand of Islam.

    American officials emphatically deny the assertion, widely believed among the Taliban’s opponents in Afghanistan, that the United States offered the movement covert support. American diplomats’ frequent visits to Kandahar, headquarters of the Taliban’s governing body, the officials insist, were mainly exploratory.

    In fact, American policy on the Taliban has seesawed back and forth. The Taliban have found favor with some American officials, who see in their implacable hostility toward Iran an important counterweight in the region. But other officials remain uncomfortable about the Taliban’s policies on women, which they say have created the most backward-looking and intolerant society anywhere in Islam. And they say that the Taliban, despite promises to the contrary, have done nothing to root out the narcotics traffickers and terrorists who have found a haven in Afghanistan under the mujahedeen.

    In its most recent policy statement on Afghanistan, the State Department called on other nations to ”engage” with the Taliban in hopes of moderating their policies. But the statement came as the Taliban were tightening still further their Islamic social code, particularly the taboos that have banned women from working, closed girls’ schools, and required all women beyond puberty to cloak themselves head to toe in garments called burqas that are the traditional garb of Afghan village women. The result, so far, is that not a single one of the member countries of the United Nations has recognized the Taliban government and none have come forward with offers of the reconstruction aid the Taliban say will be needed to rebuild this shattered country. In the words of Mullah Mohammed Hassan, one of Mullah Omar’s partners in the Taliban’s ruling council, ”We are the pariahs of the world.”

    On the Rise

    Catching the Tide Of Discontent

    How the Taliban succeeded in pacifying much of a country that had spent years spiraling into chaos is not, as their progress from Singesar to Kabul attests, primarily a question of military prowess. Much more, it was a matter of a group of Islamic nationalists catching a high tide of discontent that built up when the mujahedeen turned from fighting Russians to plundering, and just as often killing, their own people. By 1994, after five years of mujahedeen terror, the Taliban was a movement whose time had come.

    One man who has seen more of the Taliban than any other outsider, Rahimullah Yusufzai, a reporter for The News in Pakistan, put it simply: ”The story of the Taliban is not one of outsiders imposing a solution, but of the Afghans themselves seeking deliverance from mujahedeen groups that had become cruel and inhuman. The Afghan people had been waiting a long time for relief from their miseries, and they would have accepted anybody who would have freed them from the tyranny.”

    In any case, Mullah Omar contends that the decision to act at Singesar was not, at the time, envisaged as a step toward power.

    Although he is universally known in Afghanistan as mullah, or giver of knowledge, he is a shy man who still calls himself a talib, or seeker after knowledge. He has met only once with a foreign reporter, Mr. Yusufzai. Mullah Omar said at their meeting in Kandahar that the men at Singesar intended originally only to help local villagers.

    ”We were fighting against Muslims who had gone wrong,” he said. ”How could we remain quiet when we could see crimes being committed against women, and the poor?”

    But appeals were soon coming in from villages all around Kandahar. At about the time the two girls were being abducted in Singesar, which is in the Maiwand district 35 miles to the west, two other mujahedeen commanders had confronted each other with tanks in a bazaar in Kandahar, arguing over possession of a young boy both men wanted as a homosexual partner.

    In the ensuing battle, dozens of civilians shopping and trading in the bazaar were killed. After the Taliban took control of Kandahar, those commanders, too, ended up hanging from Taliban nooses.

    With each new action against the mujahedeen, the Taliban’s manpower, and arsenal, grew. Mujahedeen fighters, and sometimes whole units, switched sides, so that the Taliban quickly came to resemble a coalition of many of the country’s fighting groups. The new recruits included many men who had served in crucial military positions as pilots, tank commanders and front-line infantry officers in the Afghan Communist forces that fought under Soviet control in the 1980’s.

    After a skirmish in September 1994 at Spinbaldak, on the border with Pakistan netted the new movement 800 truckloads of arms and ammunition that had been stored in caves since the Soviet occupation, there was no force to match the Taliban. Moving rapidly east and west of Kandahar in the winter of 1994 and the spring of 1995, they rolled up territory. Sometimes, using money said to have come from Saudi Arabia, Taliban commanders paid mujahedeen commanders to give up.

    But mostly, it was enough for Taliban units to appear on the horizon with the fluttering white flags symbolizing their Islamic puritanism. ”In most places, the people welcomed the Taliban as a deliverance, so there was no need to fight,” recalled Mr. Yusufzai, the Pakistani reporter, who has spent more time with the Taliban than any other outsider.

    Another event in September 1994 gave the Taliban their most important external backer. Naseerullah Babar, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, had a vision for extricating his wedge-shaped country from the precarious position in which it was placed when it was created in 1947 by the partition of India from territories running along British India’s frontiers with Afghanistan.

    Mr. Babar saw a Pakistan linked to the newly independent Muslim republics of what had been Soviet Central Asia, along roads and railways running across Afghanistan. He believed that stability in Afghanistan would mean a potential economic bonanza for Pakistan and a strategic breakthrough for the West. ”It was in the West’s overall interest,” he said in an interview in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. ”Unless the Central Asian states have an opening to the sea, they will never be free from Russia.”

    With the rise of Taliban power around Kandahar, Mr. Babar spied a chance to prove the vision’s practicability. Using Pakistan Government funds, he arranged a ”peace convoy” of heavily loaded trucks to run rice, clothing and other gifts north from Quetta in Pakistan, through Kandahar, and onward to Ashkhabad, the capital of Turkmenistan.

    But outside the American-built airport at Kandahar, a mujahedeen commander guarding one of the thousands of checkpoints that had made an obstacle course of any Afghan journey seized the convoy, demanding ransom. Once again, the Taliban intervened, freeing the convoy and hanging, again from a tank barrel, the commander who hijacked it.

    Mr. Babar’s subsequent enthusiasm for the Taliban gave rise to a widespread belief among the the group’s opponents that they were a Pakistani creation, or at least that their growing military power was sustained by cash, arms and ammunition from Pakistan. Because of Pakistan’s close ties with the United States, it was a short step for these Taliban opponents to conclude that Washington was also backing the Taliban.

    After Kabul fell in September, Americans venturing into non-Taliban areas north of Kabul faced a common taunt from soldiers of the ousted Government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani. ”The Taliban are American puppets!” they said.

    But while that was not accurate, there were ties between American officials and the growing movement that were considerably broader than those to any other Western country.

    From early on, American diplomats in Islamabad had made regular visits to Kandahar to see Taliban leaders. In briefings for reporters, the diplomats cited what they saw as positive aspects of the Taliban, which they listed as a capacity to end the war in Afghanistan and its promises to put an end to the use of Afghanistan as a base for narcotics trafficking and international terrorism.

    Unmentioned, but probably most important to Washington, was that the Taliban, who are Sunni Muslims, have a deep hostility for Iran, America’s nemesis, where the ruling majority belong to the rival Shiite sect of Islam.

    Along the way, Washington developed yet another interest in the Taliban as potential backers for a 1,200-mile gas pipeline that an American energy company, Union Oil Company of California, has proposed building from Quetta, in Pakistan, to Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic that sits atop some of the world’s largest gas reserves, but has limited means to export them.

    The project, which Unocal executives have estimated could cost $5 billion, would be built in conjunction with the Delta Oil Company, a Saudi Arabian concern that also has close links to the Taliban. Among the advisers Unocal has employed to deal with the Taliban is Robert B. Oakley, a former American Ambassador to Pakistan.

    American officials, however, denied providing any direct assistance, covert or otherwise, to the Taliban. Similar assurances were given to Russia and India, as well as indirectly to Iran, countries that were involved in heavy arms shipments of their own to the Taliban’s main opponents, the armies of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and President Rabbani that control the 12 northern provinces that continue to resist the Taliban.

    ”We do not have any relationship with the Taliban, and we never have had,” David Cohen, the Central Intelligence Agency official who directs the agency’s clandestine operations, told Indian officials in New Delhi in November.

    Mr. Babar offered similar denials, asserting that ”there has been no financial or material aid to the Taliban from Pakistan.” But Western intelligence officials in Pakistan said the denials were a smokescreen for a policy of covert support that Mr. Babar, a retired Pakistani general, had extended to the Taliban after the convoy episode at Kandahar airport.

    That support, the intelligence officials said, apart from ammunition and fuel, included the deployment at crucial junctures of Pakistani military advisers. The advisers were easy to hide, since they were almost all ethnic Pashtuns, from the same tribe that make up an overwhelming majority of the Taliban.

    Gaining Support To U.S. Diplomats A Rosy Picture

    American officials like Robin Raphel, the top State Department official dealing directly with matters involving Afghanistan, have placed heavy emphasis on the hope that contacts with the new rulers in Kabul will encourage them to soften their policies, especially toward women.

    They also say that the United States sees the Taliban, with its Islamic conservatism, as the best, and perhaps the only, chance that Afghanistan will halt the poppy growing and opium production that have made Afghanistan, with an estimated 2,500 tons of raw opium a year, the world’s biggest single-country source of the narcotic. A similar argument is made on the issue of the network of international terrorists, many of them Arabs, who have set up bases inside Afghanistan.

    But as the Taliban consolidate their power in Kabul, the signs of cooperation are not strong. In the week before Christmas, as bitterly cold winds from the 20,000-foot Hindu Kush mountains swept down on Kabul, senior Taliban officials seemed to be in a more pugnacious mood than in October, when a counteroffensive by the Rabbani and Dostum forces came within 10 miles of Kabul.

    The attacking forces have since been driven back beyond artillery range, allowing the Taliban to concentrate on tightening their grip on Kabul’s restive population of 1.5-million.

    The sense that those Taliban leaders now give is that they see little reason to accommodate the West. Reports from United Nations officials monitoring drug flows suggest the Taliban have done nothing to impede the trafficking and that in the key provinces of Helmand and Nangarhar — accounting for more than 90 per cent of the opium production — they are in league with the drug producers, taxing them, and storing some of the opium in Taliban-guarded warehouses.

    Turning Away Elusive Positions On West’s Concerns

    Confronted with these reports, Taliban leaders have a stock response. ”We intend to stop the drug trafficking, because it is against Islamic laws,” they have said. ”But until we can rebuild our economy, there are no other jobs, so now is not the time.”

    The Taliban position on those who support international terrorists is still more elusive. According to Western intelligence estimates, as many as 400 trained terrorists are living in areas under Taliban control, some of them with links to the groups that mounted the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993 and other major attacks, including the attempted assassination of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in Ethiopia in 1995 and attacks in France by Algerian militants.

    One of the most-wanted men of all, Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian businessman who has been called one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremists in the world by the State Department, has been spotted within the past month at a heavily guarded home in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, held by the Taliban since early September.

    But it is on their treatment of women that Western governments’ attitudes seem most likely to hinge, and on that matter the Taliban show no sign of relenting. After a Taliban radio bulletin earlier this month celebrated the fact that 250 Kabul women had been beaten by Taliban in a single day for not observing the dress code, an Australian working as a coordinator for private Western aid agencies in Kabul, Ross Everson, visited one of the city’s top Taliban officials, Mullah Mohammed Mutaqi, to appeal for a turn toward what Mr. Everson called ”the doctrine of moderation that the Islamic faith is famous for.” Mullah Mutaqi stood up and waved his fist in Mr. Everson’s face. ”You are insulting us,” he said, Then, snuggling back into the blanket that Taliban officials wear around their shoulders for warmth in the unheated offices of Kabul, he made his clinching argument. ”I must ask you, are you the Muslim here, or am I?” he said. ”If you Westerners want to help us, you are welcome. Otherwise you are free to leave Afghanistan. You may think we cannot survive without you, but I can tell you, God will provide the Taliban with everything we need.”

  • Now Read under the Mullah Omar: The Taliban Delegation visited USA: Taliban visit Washington
    Dec. 15, 1997 A Taliban delegation has visited Washington and was received by some State Department officials. The Talib delegation’s meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State for South Asia Karl Inderforth was arranged by the Unocal, which is eager to build a pipeline to pump gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghan territory. http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntn80956.htm

    Read this US Government Declassified Documents.
    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB97/tal40.pdf

    UN lifts sanctions on five former Taliban officials Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-un-sanctions-list-taliban-qs-07

    Taliban leaders may join Afghan govt: US By Anwar Iqbal
    Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010 http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/13+taliban-leaders-may-join-afghan-govt-us-610-za-08

    Mullah Omar open to talks: Colonel Imam Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/04-omar-talks-col-imam-qs-05

  • The US and the Taliban: a done deal By Pierre Abramovici
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2008/10/taliban-phenomenon-20.html

    The Taliban invented

    But first stability had to be restored to Afghanistan. During the civil war fighting in 1995 the first substantial numbers of Taliban appeared, “invented” by the Pakistani ISI and perhaps funded by the CIA and Saudi Arabia. Unocal and its Saudi partner Delta Oil may have even played a major role in buying off local commanders. Security in Afghanistan was apparently their sole purpose.

    On 26 September 1996 the Taliban took Kabul. Michael Bearden, a CIA representative in Afghanistan during the war against the USSR and currently the CIA’s unofficial spokesman, recalls how US viewed the situation at the time: the Taliban were not considered the worst: they were young and hot-headed, but that was better than civil war. They controlled all the territory between Pakistan and Turkmenistan’s gas fields, which might be good as it would be possible to build a pipeline across Afghanistan and supply gas and energy to the new market. Everyone was happy (5).

    Unocal’s vice-president, Chris Taggart, barely bothered to pretend Unocal was not backing the Taliban; he described their advance as a positive development. Claiming that Taliban seizure of power was likely to help the gas pipeline project, he even envisaged US recognition of the Taliban (6). He was wrong, but no matter: this was the honeymoon between the US and the “theology students”. Anything goes where oil and gas are involved. In fact, in November 1997 Unocal invited a Taliban delegation to the US and, in early December, the company opened a training centre at the University of Omaha, Nebraska, to instruct 137 Afghans in pipeline construction technology.

    The political and military situation showed no improvement, leading some in Washington to consider support for the Taliban and the oil pipeline a political mistake. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott warned in 1997 that the region could become a centre for terrorists, a source of political and religious extremism and a theatre of war (7). An important new factor was influencing Afghanistan’s internal affairs and external relations: Osama bin Laden had sought refuge in Afghanistan after leaving Saudi Arabia. On 22 February 1998, with the support of the Taliban, he launched al-Qaida, a radical international Islamist movement, from Afghanistan. He also issued a fatwa authorising attacks on US interests and nationals.

    During a visit to Kabul on 16 April 1998, Bill Richardson, the US representative to the UN, raised the question of Bin Laden with the Taliban. They played down the problem. Tom Simons, ambassador to Pakistan, said that the Taliban assured him that Bin Laden did not have the religious authority to issue a fatwa. But on 8 August 1998 bombs destroyed the US embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans. The US responded by launching 70 cruise missiles against Afghanistan and strikes on Sudan. Bin Laden became US public enemy number one, although it was more than six months before an international arrest warrant was issued. Having failed to capture Bin Laden, the US hoped to negotiate with the Taliban to have him expelled from Afghanistan. But the attacks did collateral damage: Unocal announced that it was abandoning the Afghan gas pipeline.

    In 1997 the Six plus Two Group was set up, made up of Afghanistan’s six neighbours (Iran, Pakistan, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) with Russia and the US. The group acts under the auspices of the UN and its special envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi , a very experienced Algerian diplomat who took the post in July 1998. After the military and political failure of its earlier missions, the UN has again become crucial in the region.

    There were several diplomatic initiatives in the region in 1998, then on 12 March 1999, following Iran, the US moved closer to Russia on Afghanistan. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs Karl Inderfurth went to Moscow. Very little divided the Russians and the Americans, including the role they envisaged for Teheran. According to Inderfurth, Iran as Afghanistan’s neighbour could help end conflict. Iran could play a positive role and the Six plus Two Group could provide a structure. Inderfurth saw the irony: Afghanistan was an area where Russians and Americans could work together to end a war in which the Russians were involved, openly supporting the Northern Alliance.

    A new diplomatic game

    The first signs of current concerns also appeared in 1998. They included initiatives by factions close to supporters of former King Zahir Shah, who was ousted in 1973 and lives in exile in Rome. In a report to the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed “the Loya Jirgah (grand assembly) as an informal, time-honoured method of settling disputes, advocated by leaders of non-warring Afghan factions.” He suggested encouraging “the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan to maintain useful contacts with them” (8). Other initiatives were taken around the UN, including a meeting of 21 countries influential in Afghanistan (9).

    The new diplomatic game began with the full meeting of the Six plus Two Group on 19 July 1999 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), the first time representatives of the Taliban and members of the Northern Alliance were to sit at the same table. The Taliban, in control of 90% of Afghan territory, refused to allow the Northern Alliance to be represented. As expected, the meeting was a failure, but from then the Group provided the channel for most diplomatic initiatives.

    Washington refused to abandon hope that the Taliban would surrender Bin Laden, and continued to maintain contacts and encourage processes directed to a political solution. With US blessing, a meeting to promote the Loya Jirgah was arranged by Zahir Shah and held in Rome, 22-25November 1999. The UN Security Council had adopted a resolution calling upon the Taliban to extradite Bin Laden, and imposing limited sanctions.

    On 18 January 2000 Spanish diplomat Francesc Vendrell replaced Lakdhar Brahimi, who, dispirited by the lack of progress, had resigned. Two days later, Karl Inderfurth went to Islamabad to meet Pakistan’s new leader, General Pervez Musharraf. He also met two senior Taliban representatives and demanded: “Give us Bin Laden”. In return, he offered to regularise relations between Kabul and the world.

    Although Washington denied it, the Taliban, internationally condemned for policies towards women, attitudes to human rights and protection of Bin Laden, were still in talks with the US. On 27 November the Taliban deputy minister of foreign affairs, Abdur Rahman Zahid, gave a lecture at the Washington Middle East Institute, calling for political recognition of the Taliban regime and intimating that the Bin Laden affair could then be settled (10).

    On 30 September 2000, on an Iranian initiative, there were fresh negotiations in Cyprus. Among those present were supporters of the former “butcher of Kabul”, Islamic extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who had enjoyed the backing of the US and Saudi Arabia against the USSR, but was now in exile in Iran. The Northern Alliance established contacts with the pro-Zahir Shah Rome delegates. On 6 April 2001 those contacts resulted in an initial joint meeting between the Rome process, in favour of a Loya Jirgah under the auspices of the former King, and the Cyprus process sponsored by the Iranians. Though disagreeing with the pro-Iranian element, the other factions agreed to further meetings. The discussions continued.

    On 3 November 2000 Vendrell had announced that the Taliban and the Northern Alliance had jointly considered a draft peace plan under the auspices of the Six plus Two Group (11). That coincided with a hardening of attitude within the Taliban as a result of international sanctions. In the spring, tension erupted in the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas. Meanwhile the Six plus Two Group had begun a new, and final, stage — so the Americans thought. A sub-group was secretly set up, supposed to be more effective, of diplomats or specialists with the most up-to-date experience of the region. The delegates’ foreign ministries secretly managed its work. Meetings were held in Berlin, with only the US, Russia, Iran and Pakistan present.

    The delegates included Robert Oakley, former US ambassador and Unocal lobbyist; Naiz Naik, former foreign minister of Pakistan; Tom Simons, former US ambassador and the most recent official negotiator with the Taliiban; a former Russian special envoy to Afghanistan, Nikolai Kozyrev, and Saeed Rajai Khorassani, formerly the Iranian representative to the UN.

    Winning the jackpot

    At the first meetings in November 2000 and March 2001, to prepare for direct negotiations between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, the participants discussed a political undertaking to give the Taliban a way out. According to Naiz Naik, the group wanted to respond to what the Taliban would say about their international approach, a broad-based government and human rights. Naik said the idea was that “we would then try to covey to them that if they did certain things, then, gradually, they could win the jackpot — get something in return from the international community”.

    According to the Pakistanis present at the meeting, if the Taliban agreed to review human rights issues within two or three years and accept a transitional government with the Northern Alliance, they would gain massive (financial and technical) international aid to rebuild the country. According to Naik, the objective was to restore peace and stability, and secure the pipeline. It might, he said, be possible to persuade the Taliban that once a broader-based government was in place and the oil pipeline under way, there would be billions of dollars in commission, and the Taliban would have their own resources — the “jackpot” indeed.

    The US was still determined to get hold of Bin Laden. According to Tom Simons, if the Taliban surrendered him or entered into serious negotiations, the US would be ready to embark on a major reconstruction project. In Washington, the State Department was resolute. The administration had changed and the oil industry was over-represented within government, starting with President George Bush. The task of negotiating with the Taliban was given to Christina Rocca, the new assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, who knew about Afghanistan, a country she had dealt with between 1982 and 1987, when she worked for the CIA.

    On 12 February the US ambassador to the UN gave an assurance that, at the request of Vendrell, the US would develop a continuing dialogue on humanitarian bases with the Taliban (12). The US believed so firmly in the future of the negotiations that the State Department blocked the FBI investigation into the possible involvement of Bin Laden and his Taliban accomplices in the attack on the USS Cole, in Aden (Yemen) in October 2000. They had John O’Neill, the FBI’s “Mr Bin Laden”, expelled from Yemen to prevent him investigating further (13).

    The third meeting was to take place, again in Berlin, between 17 and 21 July, in the presence of the Taliban representative, foreign minister Mullah Mutawkil, and the representative of the Northern Alliance, foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. In early July, a secret meeting had been held between 21 countries influential in Afghanistan, at Weston Park in the UK. A compromise solution based on the former king was approved, particularly by the Northern Alliance. Naiz Naik explained that it was necessary to tell the Taliban that if they refused to cooperate, the Zahir Shah option would be available. From that point, diplomacy saw Zahir Shah as a possible replacement for the Taliban.

    Unfortunately, the plan collapsed. The Taliban first rejected it because of the involvement of Vendrell: he represented the UN, responsible for the international sanctions. And an attempt was being made to get them to talk to parties to whom they objected. According to Naik, at this point Tom Simons referred to an open-ended military option against Afghanistan from bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The locations seemed plausible, as these were countries known to have military cooperation agreements with the US. But was a specific threat made?

    Ambassador Simons dismisses this. He was not there in an official capacity and had no authority to issue threats (but would the Taliban have turned up to meet unofficial delegates with no contact with the State Department?) I He merely stated that the US was looking at evidence relating to the USS Cole, pointing out that if the US established that Bin Laden was behind it, there would be military action. It is worth noting that on 5 July, in the belief that the Taliban were taking part in the negotiations, the US was specifically not looking for evidence in relation to the attack on the USS Cole.

    The Pakistani delegation reported what had been said to the ministry and the secret services. They, no doubt, informed the Taliban. In late July, Islamabad and Pakistani military circles were buzzing with rumours of war. According to an unofficial source at the French foreign ministry, it is possible that, by exaggerating what Simons had said, the Pakistani secret services were trying to pressure the Taliban to expel Bin Laden. On one last occasion, on 29 July, Christina Rocca held unsuccessful discussions with the Taliban ambassador in Pakistan. The negotiations were at an end. The FBI began to look for evidence against Bin Laden.

    A possibility haunts people. What if, convinced the US was going to war, Bin Laden fired the first shot? On 11 September the towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed by men activated no earlier than mid-August. Three days later, Unocal announced that the suspended proposal for a gas pipeline would remain on ice and it would refuse to negotiate with the Taliban, in the expectation that the Kabul regime would fall. A month later, US bombing began. The Tajiks and Uzbeks “agreed” to provide military facilities to US forces. To combat terrorism, Russia “spontaneously” promised all the assistance necessary to the US, and the anti-Taliban factions finally reached an agreement. All this happened in two months.

    On 27 November 2001 US energy secretary, Spencer Abraham, and a team from the Energy Department, went to Novosibirsk, in Russia, to facilitate the completion and opening of the oil pipeline of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) — a link costing eight companies, including Chevron, Texaco and Exxonmobil, $2.5bn. It was, according to Abraham, a fresh start for relations between Russia and the US (14) — and a further foothold for the US in exploiting the vast oil resources of the former Soviet Union.

    Hamid Karzai was appointed head of the Afghan interim government agreed at the Bonn meetings. It then emerged that during the negotiations over the Afghan oil pipeline, Karzai had been a consultant for Unocal. Brzezinski must be very amused.

  • And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. http://www.khalidhasan.net/2008/12/28/pakistani-neocons-and-un-sanctions/For The ‘General’ Good By Sairah Irshad Khan Monthly Newsline January 2003 http://www.newsline.com.pk/newsJan2003/cover1jan2003.htm – General’s Election
    By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,361788,00.html

  • Why the Pakistani Military used to Support Taliban, Several Sectarian Outfits and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba before 911? And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail – albeit as an independent candidate – won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. Musharraf rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent�despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. “It makes no sense that Benazir can’t run in the election,” says one Islamabad-based diplomat, “and this nasty guy can.”

    References: And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan This entry was posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 at 6:00 pm. http://www.khalidhasan.net/2008/12/28/pakistani-neocons-and-un-sanctions/For The ‘General’ Good By Sairah Irshad Khan Monthly Newsline January 2003 http://www.newsline.com.pk/newsJan2003/cover1jan2003.htm – General’s Election
    By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL Monday, Oct. 07, 2002 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,361788,00.html

  • And this takes me back to Pervez Musharraf’s first visit to the US after his coup. At a meeting with a group of journalists among whom I was present, my dear and much lamented friend Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.” Pakistani neocons and UN sanctions Khalid Hasan http://www.khalidhasan.net/2008/12/28/pakistani-neocons-and-un-sanctions/

  • Excellent! This is “must read” for all the Taliban apologists! Women under the Taliban rule were subjected to gruesome ill-treatment and this was replicated in SAWAT. Such stories need to be told so to counter those who wage the Taliban propaganda upon and show their real faces to the nation.

  • Afghan women fear peace plans will reverse rights

    Friday, 05 Feb, 2010

    KABUL: Farida Tarana defied age-old Afghan tradition, death threats and sexual discrimination to become a pop star and later the public face of post-Taliban women’s politics.

    Now a local legislator, she is a prominent example of the progress Afghan women have made since the 2001 overthrow of the radical regime that barred them from education and working outside their homes.

    But as President Hamid Karzai airs plans to mediate with insurgents who have waged war since being forced from power in 2001, Tarana and other Afghan women fear any reconciliation could reverse their hard-won gains.

    “I want peace but not at the cost of women’s freedom,” Tarana told AFP.

    Tarana’s journey from repression to freedom began in 2005 when she shot to stardom in television talent show “Afghan Star”, the local version of “American Idol”, representing the western province of Herat.

    With desperate love melodies and upbeat pop songs she became popular among young Afghans for her talent and bravery, but stirred up violent opposition among conservative Islamic circles and extremist groups who accused her of breaching Afghanistan’s religious and cultural traditions.

    “Not only conservative groups but my own relatives, my cousins, my uncles, everybody was opposing me, everybody was telling me that I shouldn’t do it,” Tarana said of her stint on “Afghan Star”.

    “They even threatened to kill me,” she told AFP.

    The anonymous telephone death threats only made her more ambitious and determined to consolidate her musical career, which she did by recording new songs that helped make her both famous and rich.

    “It was not easy,” Tarana, aged in her late 20s, said of her decision to become a singer. “People (in Afghanistan) don’t like women to sing.

    “Becoming a politician who sings was even harder.”

    Tarana stood for a seat on the Kabul provincial council — one of 34 local legislatures nationwide — in elections held last August at the same time as a presidential poll that became mired in scandal and fraud.

    Vying for one of 29 seats against 524 candidates, she secured 8,421 votes, the second highest.

    Emboldened, she is now looking at standing for national parliament in elections due in September.

    The 1996-2001 Taliban regime barred Afghan women from all public activities, including school. They could only leave home accompanied by a male relative and were routinely beaten in public and even stoned to death for perceived breaches of Islamic law.

    Now, under the Afghan constitution, women are equal to men.

    Nevertheless, women’s groups say they remain the most marginalised and underprivileged group in the country, subject to violence and discrimination in the name of Afghan tradition.

    And as they fight to apply constitutional guarantees to the reality of their daily lives, some voice concerns that Karzai may be forced to compromise on women’s rights in return for cooperation from Taliban leaders.

    At a conference in London attended by around 70 countries and international organisations to map out a plan for Afghanistan’s future, Karzai outlined proposals that could see Taliban leaders invited to share power.

    “The memory of the Taliban time is still alive in the minds of Afghan women,” said Sabrina Saqeb, a women’s rights activist and member of parliament.

    “I think first of all the new (peace) programme will not succeed because it doesn’t have the backing of the people.

    “But let’s say it does succeed, Afghan women will suffer greatly,” she said.

    “I think if the Taliban are brought back, the democracy we have achieved will be pushed backwards,” Saqeb said, adding: “I’m afraid of them, I feel it in my heart and in my soul.”

    But Shukria Barakzai, another lawmaker and leading rights activist, said she is optimistic about Karzai’s peace programme and believes the Taliban will change once reconciled.

    “I think change is possible,” she told AFP.

    “Look at Mullah (Abdul Salam) Rocketi — he was a Taliban, he opposed women working outside the home,” she said, referring to a former Taliban leader now a parliamentarian.

    “But today he sits next to me in the parliament, he has changed.”

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-afghan-women-rights-qs-01

  • Professor Ishtiaq Ahmed has referred to this LUBP post in his article in Daily Times on 2 February 2010:
    A young Pakistani scholar, Taimur Rahman, has prepared a list of all the atrocious rules and laws the Taliban imposed on women to keep them out of the public eye. It can be accessed at: http://criticalppp.com/archives/5150.

    view: The French burqa ban —Ishtiaq Ahmed
    Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\02\story_2-2-2010_pg3_2

  • ooh my GOD it is shocking. The taliban were beasts in human form. may Allah give Afghan nation to rebuild themselves.

  • Undeniably consider that that you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing to bear in mind of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same time as folks think about issues that they just don’t realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as well as outlined out the entire thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

  • Some of the restrictions imposed by Taliban on women in Afghanistan

    The following list offers only an abbreviated glimpse of the hellish lives Afghan women are forced to lead under the Taliban, and can not begin to reflect the depth of female deprivations and sufferings. Taliban treat women worse than they treat animals. In fact, even as Taliban declare the keeping of caged birds and animals illegal, they imprison Afghan women within the four walls of their own houses. Women have no importance in Taliban eyes unless they are occupied producing children, satisfying male sexual needs or attending to the drudgery of daily housework. Jehadi fundamentalists such as Gulbaddin, Rabbani, Masood, Sayyaf, Khalili, Akbari, Mazari and their co-criminal Dostum have committed the most treacherous and filthy crimes against Afghan women. And as more areas come under Taliban control, even if the number of rapes and murders perpetrated against women falls, Taliban restrictions –comparable to those from the middle ages– will continue to kill the spirit of our people while depriving them of a humane existence. We consider Taliban more treacherous and ignorant than Jehadis. According to our people, “Jehadis were killing us with guns and swords but Taliban are killing us with cotton.”

    Taliban restrictions and mistreatment of women include the:

    1- Complete ban on women’s work outside the home, which also applies to female teachers, engineers and most professionals. Only a few female doctors and nurses are allowed to work in some hospitals in Kabul.

    2- Complete ban on women’s activity outside the home unless accompanied by a mahram (close male relative such as a father, brother or husband).

    3- Ban on women dealing with male shopkeepers.

    4- Ban on women being treated by male doctors.

    5- Ban on women studying at schools, universities or any other educational institution. (Taliban have converted girls’ schools into religious seminaries.)

    6- Requirement that women wear a long veil (Burqa), which covers them from head to toe.

    7- Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules, or of women unaccompanied by a mahram.

    8- Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

    9- Public stoning of women accused of having sex outside marriage. (A number of lovers are stoned to death under this rule).

    10- Ban on the use of cosmetics. (Many women with painted nails have had fingers cut off).

    11- Ban on women talking or shaking hands with non-mahram males.

    12- Ban on women laughing loudly. (No stranger should hear a woman’s voice).

    13- Ban on women wearing high heel shoes, which would produce sound while walking. (A man must not hear a woman’s footsteps.)

    14- Ban on women riding in a taxi without a mahram.

    15- Ban on women’s presence in radio, television or public gatherings of any kind.

    16- Ban on women playing sports or entering a sport center or club.

    17- Ban on women riding bicycles or motorcycles, even with their mahrams.

    18- Ban on women’s wearing brightly colored clothes. In Taliban terms, these are “sexually attracting colors.”

    19- Ban on women gathering for festive occasions such as the Eids, or for any recreational purpose.

    20- Ban on women washing clothes next to rivers or in a public place.

    21- Modification of all place names including the word “women.” For example, “women’s garden” has been renamed “spring garden”.

    22- Ban on women appearing on the balconies of their apartments or houses.

    23- Compulsory painting of all windows, so women can not be seen from outside their homes.

    24- Ban on male tailors taking women’s measurements or sewing women’s clothes.

    25- Ban on female public baths.

    26- Ban on males and females traveling on the same bus. Public buses have now been designated “males only” (or “females only”).

    27- Ban on flared (wide) pant-legs, even under a burqa.

    28- Ban on the photographing or filming of women.

    29- Ban on women’s pictures printed in newspapers and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops.

    Apart from the above restrictions on women, the Taliban has:

    – Banned listening to music, not only for women but men as well.

    – Banned the watching of movies, television and videos, for everyone.

    – Banned celebrating the traditional new year (Nowroz) on March 21. The Taliban has proclaimed the holiday un-Islamic.

    – Disavowed Labor Day (May 1st), because it is deemed a “communist” holiday.

    – Ordered that all people with non-Islamic names change them to Islamic ones.

    – Forced haircuts upon Afghan youth.

    – Ordered that men wear Islamic clothes and a cap.

    – Ordered that men not shave or trim their beards, which should grow long enough to protrude from a fist clasped at the point of the chin.

    – Ordered that all people attend prayers in mosques five times daily.

    – Banned the keeping of pigeons and playing with the birds, describing it as un-Islamic. The violators will be imprisoned and the birds shall be killed. The kite flying has also been stopped.

    – Ordered all onlookers, while encouraging the sportsmen, to chant Allah-o-Akbar (God is great) and refrain from clapping.

    – Ban on certain games including kite flying which is “un-Islamic” according to Taliban.

    – Anyone who carries objectionable literature will be executed.

    – Anyone who converts from Islam to any other religion will be executed.

    – All boy students must wear turbans. They say “No turban, no education”.

    – Non-Muslim minorities must distinct badge or stitch a yellow cloth onto their dress to be differentiated from the majority Muslim population. Just like what did Nazis with Jews.

    – Banned the use of the internet by both ordinary Afghans and foreigners.

    And so on…

    Many of the anti-women rules that Taliban practiced were first of all the rules formulated and practiced by Rabbani-Massoud government after they came to power in 1992, but no one talk about them and it is painful that today even they are called the champaions of women’s rights!!

    ON November 8, 1994 the UN Secretary-General presented the interim report on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan prepared by Mr. Felix Ermacora, Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights, in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/84 of 9 March 1994, and Economic and Social Council decision 1994/268 of 25 July 1994.

    Parts of the report about women’s rights sitaution says:

    The Special Rapporteur’s attention has been drawn to the Ordinance on the Women’s Veil, which is reported to have been issued by a nine-member professional committee of the High Court of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and which reads as follows:

    “A denier of veil is an infidel and an unveiled woman is lewd”.

    “Conditions of wearing veil:

    1. The veil must cover the whole body.
    2. Women’s clothes must not be thin.
    3. Women’s clothes must not be decorated and colourful.
    4. Women’s clothes must not be narrow and tight to prevent the seditious limbs from being noticed. The veil must not be thin.
    5. Women must not perfume themselves. If a perfumed woman passes by a crowd of men, she is considered to be an adulteress.
    6. Women’s clothes must not resemble men’s clothes.

    “In addition,

    1. They must not perfume themselves.
    2. They must not wear adorning clothes.
    3. They must not wear thin clothes.
    4. They must not wear narrow and tight clothes.
    5. They must cover their entire bodies.
    6. Their clothes must not resemble men’s clothes.
    7. Muslim women’s clothes must not resemble non-Muslim women’s clothes.
    8. Their foot ornaments must not produce sound.
    9. They must not wear sound-producing garments.
    10. They must not walk in the middle of streets.
    11. They must not go out of their houses without their husband’s permission.
    12. They must not talk to strange men.
    13. If it is necessary to talk, they must talk in a low voice and without laughter.
    14. They must not look at strangers.
    15. They must not mix with strangers.”

    http://www.rawa.org/rules.htm

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