Afghanistan Under the Taliban Regime

By | December 16, 2021

The 1993 Islāmabād agreement, by which G. Hekmatyar (leader of the party of Islam) became prime minister, failed to stabilize the situation. In the stalemate a new armed group emerged, known by the name of Ṭālibān (from the Arabic ṭālib ‘student’), made up of young Afghans of Pashtūn origin, coming from the Islamic schools of Pakistan, and mugiāhidīn disappointed by their commanders. Equipped with sophisticated weapons, thanks also to the availability of vast economic resources deriving from the trafficking of opiates, the Taliban gained control of large areas of the country and in 1996, after months of heavy bombing, they took Kabul.

The new government (immediately formally recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) imposed radical measures, based on a dogmatic application of the principles of sharia. The forces linked to the previous regime, united in UIFSA (United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghānistān) concentrated instead in the northern provinces, managing to maintain the city of Mazar-e Sharif, an important strategic node of the country, until 8 August 1998. On August 20, the US bombed some mugiāhidīn fields, in retaliation for the attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salam, attributed to the terrorist organization of Osama Bin Laden, billionaire of Saudi origin fled to Afghan territory. Diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and Iran also worsened. For Afghanistan 2014, please check

The unsuccessful attempts of international diplomacy to restart the dialogue between the Taliban and the forces of UIFSA and the tightening of sanctions by the UN for the non-surrender of bin Laden (December 2000) accentuated the intransigence of the government Taliban. The internal situation precipitated in September 2001; the killing of Ahmad Shah Masood, military and political leader of the opposition to the Taliban, was followed by the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon and the Taliban’s new refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. Completely isolated on the diplomatic level, the Afghanistan it was subjected to heavy bombardments by the Anglo-American air force, while on the domestic front the action of UIFSA resumed (often indicated during the conflict with the expression Northern Alliance).

After the capitulation of Kabul (13 November), following the agreements signed in Bonn on 5 December 2001 between the various internal factions, a provisional government was established made up of representatives of the different ethnic groups of the country (mainly Pashtūn, Tajiks, Hazāra, Uzbeks), led by the Pashtūn Hamid Karzai and flanked by a multinational force of the United Nations, which was entrusted with the task of restoring the conditions for the resumption of political and social life. In June 2002, the Loya Jirga, the traditional assembly of clan leaders, met, which he confirmed at the head of the Karzai government, also appointed interim president.. While the American special forces continued the search for Bin Laden and the roundups against the Taliban guerrillas, the political transition was experiencing phases of great tension. At the end of 2003 a new meeting of the Loya Jirga sanctioned the adoption of a democratic constitutional charter, which introduced a presidential system of government and a bicameral parliament. On October 9, 2004, the first national elections after 35 years were held, which awarded Karzai with 55.4% of the votes, confirming him in the office of president. Subsequent parliamentary elections in 2005 completed the new political framework. Alongside the powers of the new institutions, however, the traditional powers of tribal chiefs and warlords reappeared, who continued to finance themselves with international drug trafficking.International Security Assistance Force NATO-led) remained to garrison the country, managing to establish permanent bases in over 70% of the country. Despite the strengthening of NATO troops, terrorist activity increased in 2009, coinciding with the presidential elections, won by Karzai but tainted by widespread allegations of fraud. In June 2010, President Karzai promoted a third Jirga with the intention of opening peace negotiations with the Taliban, who nevertheless deserted the meeting, even undermining its progress with new acts of violence. Direct talks between the United States and the Taliban to find a political solution to the war were undertaken after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which took place on May 1, 2011 during a

In the first round of the presidential elections held in April 2014, two former ministers of outgoing President Karzai prevailed: former Foreign Minister Afghanistan Abdullah, Karzai’s opponent in the 2009 presidential elections, who obtained 44.9% of the votes against 31.5% of the votes won by his main challenger, the former Minister of Finance and former World Bank official Afghanistan Ghani. Heavy allegations of fraud regarding the counting of votes in the second round of consultations made it necessary to recount the ballots, the outcome of which awarded the victory to Ghani, who took over from Karzai in the presidential office in September. The ISAF mission ended in December 2014, after whose withdrawal the Taliban gained ground, also fomented by the advance of the IS terrorist organization, since January of the following year Resolute Support, a NATO mission in support of the Afghan security forces, has been operational, whose return was initiated by the decision of J. Biden in May 2021 and ended in September; following the progressive withdrawal of NATO troops, the Taliban fundamentalists have unleashed a new offensive, coming to control 65% of the country and the borders with Uzbekistan and the Tajikistan and conquering numerous capital cities, such as Ghazni, Taloqan and Farah, until the capture of Kabul, placed under siege by the fundamentalist group and falling into its hands without resistance from the government army, which forced President Ghani, reconfirmed with 50.6% of the votes in February of the previous year with 50.6% of the votes, to leave the country. In the following September, after the definitive withdrawal of NATO troops and obtained full control of the country, the Taliban formed an interim executive headed by terrorist MH Akhund.


Jam Minaret and Archaeological Remains (2002); cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamian valley (2003).

Afghanistan Under the Taliban Regime