TALIBAN [Archives:2001/49/Reportage]

December 3 2001

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Yemen Times
Undoubtedly, Pakistan had substantially supported the Taliban in its war to capture most of the territories of Afghanistan, most properly after it had been disappointed with the government of President Burhan Aldinn Rabani, who is not in line with the Pakistani government. Actually, the existence of President Rabani constituted an obstacle to the ambitions of the Pakistani government to have a hand in the oil- rich region of middle Asia. In fact, the Taliban regime and its adherents have been long accused of harboring terrorism represented by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network. Similarly, it is widely known that the religious schools played host for the Taliban and its adherents, but the question is what kind of the schools are that of Taliban? Fahmi Huaydi, an Islamic intellectual, said in one of his books that the Indian sub-continent, which includes India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, has thousands of religious schools which have been built by different Sunni and Shiite groups. One of the Sunni schools known to be extremely conservative is the al-Dyunidyah school in north Delhi in India. Many people believe that this school has greatly enriched the Islamic religion and culture in India. Moreover, many Islamic clerics who have strongly shaped the Islamic culture in India have graduated from this school. Interestingly, ten thousand schools similar to the Dyunidyah school have been built all over the Indian sub-continent. People unanimously agree that the ideology of the Taliban’s adherents has been derived from these schools, which are very common in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. Mostly, the Taliban affiliates have graduated from schools such as Dar al-Uloom, the Islamic University in Nory Town, al-Farwqyah University, Manba’a al-Uloom, al-Ashrafyah University, etc. Moreover, the graduates of these schools in Pakistan share the same beliefs adopted by the Taliban, especially with regard to attaching importance to secondary issues and the boundless loyalty for the chief Islamic clerics.
Earlier on September 27, 1996, the Taliban forces captured Kabul and a vast area in northern Afghanistan. Until recently, the Taliban used to control 95% of Afghanistan and could maintain a relative peace in the regions under its power. The Taliban regime started fighting corruption and imposed on all people to follow strict Islamic teachings. Consequently, smoking hashish and gambling were also banned; however, no significant service projects were implemented. But, ultimately the irresponsible policies of the Taliban have brought disaster to Afghanistan and the Afghan people in all aspects of life.
Among other things giving discredit to the Taliban regime is monopolizing power and ruling out all intellectuals and factions from its government. The Taliban movement has paid great attention to trivial things and has neglected its responsibilities towards its people. Certainly, the current reprisal attacks carried out by the different factions in Afghanistan against the Taliban are principally to settle old scores between these factions and the Taliban regime, and not as some people may regard as for pleasing America.
Following the September 11 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, the United States has been in a full swing to create a global coalition for fighting terrorism, represented by Osama bin Laden, the USs enemy number one. For this, the US government requested that the Taliban regime hand over Osama bin Laden, but the Taliban government refused to do so. Apparently, the United States has realized that eradicating the Taliban regime and arresting bin Laden would be a difficult task without the help of Pakistan. Thus, it has tried hard to convince Pakistan to join its coalition in a move to isolate the Taliban regime from its only supporter and to make Pakistan a base for its military operations. Similarly, the US has strongly supported the Northern Alliance forces in its war against the Taliban.
Therefore, it has forced the Taliban forces out of Kabul, Kanduz and many other Taliban-controlled strongholds. Now, the question is what does the US government want from Afghanistan? Perhaps, Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network are the key objectives of the US-led war against Afghanistan. However, this war has not yet achieved its targets. Sending US special forces to track down Osama bin Laden and Mula Mohammed Ommar in the mountains of Afghanistan is just evidence that the US administration is aware of the fact that destroying the Taliban is not the end of the war. Absolutely, the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and its caves can play a safe refuge for bin Laden. The Taliban regime has understood the new situation; thus, it has started handing over the previously Taliban-held areas to the local sheiks there. The Taliban is absolutely planing to carry out guerrilla warfare against the US forces and the Northern Alliance forces. However, it is certain that such a war will incur heavy losses on the Taliban, the US forces and the Northern Alliance forces. Furthermore, the so-called Arab-Afghans will find no alternative but to fight to the death. Thus, there should be an appropriate mechanism for protecting them, particularly as these men are victims of brainwashing by the Taliban regime and al-Qaeda leaders.