As a reaction to both the crime and corruption rampant during the civil war, Mullah Mohammad Omar founded the Taliban in 1994. The Taliban literally means “students” in Pashto, referring to the founding members as Mullah Mohammad Omar’s students.
Taliban supreme leader Haifatullah Akhundzada, an Islamic legal scholar, holds the group’s political, religious, and military affairs in his hands.
While the Taliban became popular during its initial days due to promises to prevent crime and corruption, they became notorious for imposing a harsh interpretation of the Sharia. Afghanistan’s girls and women were particularly affected by the Taliban regime since they were barred from schools and workplaces.
The group is accused of enforcing Sharia violently, including public executions for murderers and adulterers and amputations for thieves.
In recent weeks the hardline Islamists have once again gained control of territories in Afghanistan as their offensive accelerated.
Several military outposts, towns, and major cities have fallen under the control of this jihadist insurgency following the withdrawal of US troops from the country.
The Taliban has said that thousands of schools will continue to run and they also claimed that now all women will have the right to work and to receive higher education up to university level.
The Taliban wants to reinstate Sharia in Afghanistan, and those who can’t leave the country must embrace a way of life they haven’t experienced in decades.
Taliban members stated earlier this year they sought a “Genuine Islamic system” that included provisions for women and minorities, in line with cultural norms and religious traditions. However, members of the group entered the offices of a Kandahar bank last month and ordered 9 women to leave.
Many people fled the capital of Afghanistan to neighbouring countries, due to their rapid advance into the country’s territory.
According to the Taliban, they are now different from the past. They declare their commitment to the peace process, their desire for an inclusive government, and their willingness to have some rights for women.
Yet many observers fear that a return to Taliban rule will bring Afghanistan back to its dreadful past.