Afghanistan has been subjected to foreign conquerors for a long time. Darius, Alexander, Turk Shahis,Lodis, Mughals, Durranis, Mahmood of Gazni are some of the names. But it has been ‘unconquerable’ and often called the ‘graveyard of empires’ because it has seen the flourishing and demolishing empires.
In 18th-19th century, USSR and the British were in conflict to prevent each other from capturing Afghanistan. After 3 Anglo- Afghan wars, finally in 1921, Afghanistan emerged as an independent country, was no more protectorate of the British.
From 1921, Amanullah was the head of Afghanistan. In 1926, he declared Afghanistan, a monarchy and became its king.
Afghanistan is not a homogeneous country, it has various ethnic groups i.e. Pashtuns, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and they are always in conflict with each other to have dominance in the region.
Amanullah wanted to implement western reforms in Afghanistan. After clashes between Moh. Zahir Shah and Amanullah, Amanullah fled from Afghanistan. In 1933, Zahir Shah became the king. A number of social, economic, structural reforms were started by him.
In 1953, Pro-Soviet general, Moh. Daoud Khan, cousin of king, became Prime Minister and wanted Afghanistan to be a communist state. In 1965, the Afghan Communist Party was secretly formed and principal leaders were Babrak Karmal and Nur Mohammed Taraki.
In 1973, Moh. Daoud Khan overthrew Zahir Shah’s government in a military coup. Hence, the monarchy ended and Daoud Khan became the president. Afghanistan came in ties with USSR and was often called puppet of USSR. India recognized this government.
In 1975-77, Daoud Khan proposed a new constitution to recognize the women rights and modernizing the state. But in 1978, Saur revolution took place and as a result, Khan was killed and Nur Moh. Taraki became president, Babrak became Deputy PM and Afghanistan became an Islamic state. After Saur revolution, Afghanistan’s destiny has embraced a never-ending unrest.
In 1979, US ambassador Adolf Dubs was killed. US cut aid to Afghanistan. Taraki was killed and Hafeez Ullah Ameen( the person behind Saur revolution) became the president, he tried to make friendly relations with US and was ready to recognize Durand line to stop the guerilla war from Pakistan.
There were two doctrines that time in prevalence. US's doctrine of containment - newly emerging countries should not be trapped in communism. And USSR's Breznev Doctrine - once a country embraces communism, it should not go back to capitalism. So, to protect communism, in the same year, on December 24, 1979- USSR attacked Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, some groups wanted Islamic state and some liked the USSR.
On the other hand, CIA (US’s secret agency), Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Britain started supporting ‘Mujahiddins’ to be rebel against the government which was supported by USSR.
In 1980, Osama Bin Laden came from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, formed Al-Qaeda and fought with Mujahiddins against USSR. In 1987, the then president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah realized that USSR will withdraw soon. So, he started to invite Islamic Fundamentalist in the government to stay in power and stabilize his government.
In 1989, a peace Accord in Geneva, between US and USSR was signed by USSR guaranteeing independence to Afghanistan and withdrawal of its 100,000 troops.
By 1992, different ethnic groups were fighting for their prevalence and influence. Mujahiddins and rebels captured the Kabul. Najibullah was ousted from power and guerilla leader Ahmad Shah Masood, led troops into the capital.
In 1995-96- Pashtun community (majority in Afghanistan) came together under leader Mullah Umar and started Taliban. ‘Talib’ In Pashto means ‘students’ or ‘seekers’. 50 of his students, initiated the ‘Taliban’ and had strong ties with Osama Bin Laden. So, now, Osama Bin Laden + Pakistan + Taliban were propped up to form Islamic state in Afghanistan.
From 1996- 2001, Taliban captured and ruled 3-quarters of Afghanistan, Mullah Umar was the leader and Kandahar was its capital. And Ahmad Shah Masood was in north Afghanistan; he created Northern Alliance with his supporters and ruled there. Apart from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE, no country recognized Taliban.
In its ideology, Taliban describes itself as an innovative interpreter of Sharia law, wants to take along the all communities, but reality is poles apart. During rule of Afghanistan, it has been ruthless and cruel and extortion, persecution, lapidating, whipping, assassination are its norms, with a motto of abducting life and liberty and eradicating basic human rights.
Lacerations to India by Taliban - Bombing on significant Buddhist Bamiyan, which was also World Heritage site in Afghanistan, Non- muslims were forced to wear different ‘signs’, so that they could be identified, are just a glimpse of Taliban’s atrocities. Indian government had to kneel down in case of IC814 plane abduction when Masood Azhar was released to rescue hostages.
After 9/11 attacks, USA launched operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ by attacking Afghanistan in October 2001. Taliban’s rule ended and Hamid Karzai became president, some sense of democracy erected, but Taliban was not vanished because Pakistan was there to keep it alive.
In 2011, Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by USA. After retaliation, US began to pack its bags. In 2013, Afghanistan Army took over all military and security operations from NATO forces. In May 2014, President Obama announced time table to reduce US troop’s size in Afghanistan by 2016. In September 2018- secretary of state Mike Pompeo named Zalmay Khalilzad as a special representative for Afghan reconciliation. Mullah Baradar was released from Pakistan on US instructions. Because US wanted an honorable exit, so they wanted Taliban at negotiating table and Baradar was the co-founder of Taliban (imprisoned in Karachi since 2010). In February 2020, peace deal between US and Taliban was signed on that US soil will not be targeted and peace of Afghanistan will be reinstated by May 2021. President Joe Biden, announced withdrawal by 9/11, but left by Aug 31,2021. In July 2021, US left Bagram airfield without even telling the base's new Afghanistan commander. US left most of its arms and ammunitions, bullet proof vehicles which were not in very good conditions, Taliban captured them and used in moving ahead. On 15 August 2021, Afghanistan Government collapsed and Taliban took over Kabul. On 19 August 2021, Mullah Baradar reached Afghanistan to become the head.
So basically, a monster which was in its den till USA was in Afghanistan is now all set to show its new patterns of ill treatments to people.