Afghanistan and the Taliban: Before, After and Now
The Kite Runner was set in the years 1975-2001. Everything during these years went from being peaceful, to bad, to even worse. The Taliban during these fateful years have taken control of Afghanistan and its government. They were thought of as heroes to the people of their once peaceful country, but their way of controlling their government is sadistic. In the present, they are even involved in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
During 1975, Afghanistan was a quiet place to live. There were economic hardships, but the residents of this pleasant country got through it. Kabul is the capital city of Afghanistan. It had the most economy problems in the country. Most of them were poverty difficulties. The president of this country at the time was Daoud Khan. Then, when winter came along, resistance towards communists began. Amir from The Kite Runner even knew of these communist attempts to rule his country. “Huddled together in the dining room and waiting for the sun to rise, none of us had any notion that a way of life had ended.” (Hosseini 36). The Afghan Islamist part of the resistance was favored by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States instead of the Afghan traditionalist and royalist parts. The uprising has just begun for the communist takeover in Afghanistan.
In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Even Amir from The Kite Runner even knew about this before it all happened. “And then in December 1979, when Russian tanks would roll into the very same streets where Hassan and I played, bringing the death of the Afghanistan I knew”(Hosseini 36) The Taliban during this time were thought of as refugees and were part of a resistance movement to expel the Russian troops from their country. The United States and Pakistan provided financial and military support so the Afghans could win against the Soviet soldiers. Despite the fact that there were civilians in Kabul, the Afghans did not care and used missiles, provided by the United States, to drop on the city resulting in civilian casualties and killed Soviet troops. In 1989, Ahmed Shah Massoud, took over Kabul as new leader. They ended up overthrowing President Sayid Mohammed Najibullah, who headed the Afghan government. In 1994, the Taliban were more powerful because Pakistan favored them and did everything in their power to support them. “Pakistan support for the Taliban is based on strong religious and ethnic bonds between the Taliban and Pakistan” (Amghar, Web 6). The militants of the Taliban are Sunni Muslim Pashtuns. They are thirteen percent of Pakistan’s population. They are basically most of the Taliban in general.
In 1996, Osama Bin Laden moved from Sudan to Afghanistan and met with Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s leader. “Bin Laden was involved in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998” (Amghar, Web 6). On September 11th, 2001, Bin laden prompted the bombing of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This resulted in the United States asking the Taliban to immediately hand over Bin Laden. General Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, told the U.S. that he would support the capturing of Bin Laden. Instead, they couldn’t take down Bin Laden and Al Qaeda because of the ethnic and religious ties with the Taliban. Basically, Pakistan let the Taliban do what like to the people in there cites by robbing them and raping women. “The Taliban were exceedingly ignorant, which made them cruel” (Arbabzadah, Web 1). The Taliban used to be heroes to the people of the country, but now they are just plain evil. In The Kite Runner, Amir’s friend Farid said the Taliban would look for any excuse for violence. Amir bought a fake beard because it is considered a sin to shave and that all men should have beards. He saw Kabul during this time and was unfamiliar with it as it is not how it used to be when he was a kid. Afghanistan is just plagued by the Taliban with no hope for escape.
In conclusion, the Taliban before, after, and now are a deadly force to reckon with. I have to say that religion has a strong connection with them as they think of most things as sins. Amir from The Kite Runner depicts Afghanistan as a peaceful state. Now, he thinks of it as a wasteland that is ruled by a stubborn government with a false sense of religion. In my opinion, as much as I hate the Taliban, they must be removed from Afghanistan and Pakistan because they can cause a lot of trouble for those countries and can stir up many civil wars within those countries.
Amghar, Adderrahim. "Home." The Resurgence of the Taliban in Pakistan. Nazareth College, 2014. Web. 01 May 2014.
Arbabzadah, Nushin. "The 1980s Mujahideen, the Taliban and the Shifting Idea of Jihad." Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 28 Apr. 2011. Web. 01 May 2014.
Bai, Laxmi. "Security Research Review." : Volume 1(3) Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Afghanistan. Bharat-Rakshak, 2005. Web. 01 May 2014.
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead, 2003.
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