The Taliban is an Islamic and political movement in Afghanistan and also parts of Pakistan that have been waging an insurgency or jihad within Afghanistan. The Taliban held the power of the country from 1996 to 2001 and is famous for its strict imposition of Sharia law (Ayoob & Ugur, 2013). However, the international Muslim community, as well as the rest of world, have remained critical and in disagreement with the political grouping. The spiritual leader and the supreme commander since its ascension to power were Mohammed Omar until 2013 when he died and was later replaced by Mullah Akhtar Mansour in 2015 (Katzman, 2016). There were unconfirmed reports that Mansour was either killed or severely wounded, but the Taliban remained stable. By 2015, it had over a dozen militant groupings that supported Taliban each with its agendas that varied. The origin of the group could be traced to the 1990s but was fully unified in 1994 following the capture of Kandahar. During the leadership of Mohammed Omar, the movement spread throughout Afghanistan successfully being able to secure power from the Mujahidin warlords accused of being corrupt thus had lost support from the majority of the Afghans (Katzman, 2016). Taliban remained in power until 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the United States that triggered the response of the international community led by the US. The American-led invasion toppled the Taliban government and they later regrouped as an insurgency. The activities of the Taliban while in power and even after their fall from power have had severe consequences on the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments. The Taliban had adverse effects on the government operations, the people, religion as well as the military of Pakistan and the neighboring Afghanistan.
During the governing of the Taliban in Afghanistan, it received severe sanctions and international foreign policy in the country. It is this that affected the governance of Taliban and also later had an effect on the government of the country with many countries to date not yet reopening embassies and other international relations with the country (Griffiths, 2001). It makes it challenging and also futile in some cases for the government of the day to come up with policies and other laws that may involve the international community due to the Taliban threat that is present in the country. In fact, between 1996 to 2001 that the Taliban governed Afghanistan, there were only three countries that formally acknowledged the Taliban the legitimate government of Afghanistan (Griffiths, 2001). Among these countries were Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and the Saudi Arabia. It is the support of policies and also the refusal of Pakistan to work with the international community against the Taliban that led to the sanctioning of the Pakistani government as well (Siddiqui, 2009). Pakistan’s government was criticized and perceived as being allied with the Taliban, who were seen as being enemies to global pace since they totally refused to work with NATO forces in the fight against the Al Qaeda (Griffiths, 2001).
The Taliban’s system and ideologies on the Islamic religion led to a serious shift in perception among individuals especially those in non-Islamic states. The Taliban majorly hosted in Pakistan, and the Afghanistan believe in the enforcement of extremist religious practices (Barfield, 2012). They enforced harsh and inhumane Sharia laws and also advocated for the Jihadist wars. As a result of this, they received international criticism and condemnation among many nations that perceived the treatment of the people by the Taliban cruel and against the human rights (Latifa, 2001). They were particularly brutal against women that did not follow the religious practices and rule imposed by the ruling governance (Latifa, 2001). In some cases, the women were public prosecuted if suspected of engaging in infidelity and they supported their practices as being an Islamic law (Barfield, 2012). It is this that adversely affected the Islamic religions with individuals from such states facing discrimination and prejudice as they were perceived as being as extreme as the Taliban were at the time.
The Taliban caused apprehension, fear and anxiety among the civilians due to the atrocities that they engaged in and also left the populace to the harsh reality that came with the sanctions that Afghanistan as well as Pakistan received as they were pressured to help in flushing out the Al Qaeda. During the governance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, they committed massacres against the civilians that opposed their rule, denied the food supplies to a population of over 160,000 starving individuals and also conducted a policy of scorched earth (Barfield, 2012). They burnt vast areas of fertile lands with the aim of destroying tens of thousands of homes and also with the intention of using starvation as a weapon to suppress any form of opposition to their rule and control.
Following the 9/11 attacks the United Nations accused the group of harboring terrorism and also engaging in terrorism as they went under as an insurgency following their removal from power. They used terrorism as a particular tactic and political goal. In fact, the Taliban were the major allies that supported and also harbored Osama Bin Laden and despite the talks and peace treaties that the United States and other countries tried to strike to flush out Bin Laden, the Taliban were adamant and remained allied to the Al Qaeda (Griffiths, 2001). The Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, was responsible for various terrorist attacks including the 9/11 and the Kenyan bombings of the US embassy. It is this that has had an impact on the people and also the religions in the Afghanistan and by extension in Pakistan due to the polarity of the country field by the presence of Taliban within its borders as well (Barfield, 2012). It has made the country lose support and also changed the perception of individuals in the international scene against the Pakistan and Afghanistan nationals. In the current society, the majority of Pakistan and Afghanistan immigrants are subjected to prejudice and discrimination as they are attached to the terrorism witnessed in their mother countries. Furthermore, Islam has also been subject to criticism as individuals began attachji9ng it to terrorism and thus adversely affecting the religion (Barfield, 2012).
The Taliban are responsible for thousands of civilian lives lost in the country since the US-led invasion in the country in 2001 to date. The United Nations indicate that the Taliban and their allies have led to over 75% of the Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, and by the year 2012 the number had risen to 2012 (Katzman, 2016). It is because the Taliban commonly seek for hideouts in villages and some cases populated areas where they committed massacres for those that oppose them. They also attract airstrikes of some areas by as the troops attempt to flush them out only to find out that the area had a lot of civilians leading to an increased casualties. According to the Human Rights Watch, the Taliban bombings, and other attacks that they staged against the civilians in an attempt to force the government to surrender to their demands led to severe casualties. The attacks sharply rose in 2006 where there were over 669 Afghan civilians killed. There was increased use of suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan by the year 2008 targeting unarmed civilian aid workers (Katzman, 2016).
The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the military have also been allegedly in some cases as being great allies to the Taliban and are even accused of providing support to them during their founding and also their time in power (Rashid, 2000). They are accused of continued to support the Taliban even in the current time where it is an insurgency. However, the Pakistani government holds that it dropped all the support that to the group after the 9/11 attacks (Ayoob & Ugur, 2013). It is a debate that has affected the way that the international community perceives the Pakistani government and the poor image has resulted to the strained of international relations of the country. The Taliban has also affected the policy formulation of the Pakistani government that is always careful on the side that they offer their support. It is because of the growing fear that the Taliban is growing rapidly on the Pakistani territory and more so on the northern border (Katzman, 2016). As a result of the US plan to exit from the area and leave the Afghanistan government to handle the insurgency, the Pakistanis are skeptical on the ability of the existing governance, military and resources to manage the insurgency on their own. On the other hand, they are afraid of offering any form of direct support to the Taliban and face the sanctions that could be detrimental to the economy and in turn adversely affect the lives of the citizens (Ayoob & Ugur, 2013). The citizens, on the other hand, are affected by the rising insurgency in their territories and hence the option of the government and also the public to be allied to the Taliban as a safety precaution and also to secure their interests. It is this dilemma that has had an effect on the foreign policy adoption of the Afghanistan government and also of the Pakistani.
The military of Pakistan has also lost its shine due to the attachments to with Al-Qaeda a terrorist organization and also its attachment to many atrocities committed around the middle east. There is also a growing divide between those that support and those that oppose the Taliban within the Pakistan military leading to its weakening and also to its having a bad image and branded as being part of the insurgency (Siddiqui, 2009). The UN pointed out that in 2000; the Pakistani military was the single biggest supporters of the Taliban group. The secretary-general of the United Nations criticized the UN as being in violation of the international sanctions against the Taliban (Katzman, 2016).
The Taliban further led to the outcry of the Afghanistan and Pakistan civilians and governments due to the high rising cases of human trafficking that they engaged within the two countries. There were reports of several Taliban and Al-Qaeda commanders that ran networks of human trafficking by abducting people especially women and selling them into sex slavery in Afghanistan and Pakistan (Latifa, 2001). The biggest targets of the business were the Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara and other ethnic groups in the countries.
The Taliban war in Afghanistan has, in turn, turned the Pakistan into a battleground for the militants and also threatens destabilization of the Pakistani government. It has also led to the massive loss of lives in the countries, hunger and deterioration of the economy that has a direct impact on the general population (Siddiqui, 2009). The tribal areas in Pakistan border became the home of a lethal combination of Al-Qaeda operatives, Afghan and Pakistan Taliban and also other Jihadist groups that fight on both sides of the border. It is the effect of the rise fall and the ultimate insurgency of the Taliban that has led to the increased polarization of the Pakistan borders and also the country in general (Siddiqui, 2009).
Due to the violent nature of the Taliban, it led to the alienation of Afghanistan and also parts of Pakistan from the rest of world, and this resulted in a severe and hard outcome on the people of Afghanistan and also the prevailing governments. There was the massive loss of civilian rights and also increased intimidation making human rights almost nonexistent (Griffiths, 2001). There is also an increased level of illiteracy among girls and also the boys due to the paralysis of the education sector following the Taliban rule and also their mutiny that threw the countries in mayhem. The women were prevented from working except in medical fields as the men were required to grow beards that could not be trimmed. As a result of the suppression that happened during the Taliban rule and also the continued intimidation that comes with its presence, there is an increased demand for education and reduction in professional to take up jobs with time. It is this that has affected the governance of the countries leading to the government making policies to provide the basic needs for developing the countries any further.
The impact of the Taliban was not unique to Afghanistan but was also immense among the Pakistanis. The extremist policies and violence that characterized the Taliban rule and also is witnessed in the insurgency led to the polarization of the states and also the continued growth of the Jihadist Islam. It is this that led to the direct effect of the religion, led to the increased suffering and poverty among the people and loss of lives among the military (Siddiqui, 2009). The Pakistan Military accused of supporting the Taliban has also witnessed increased polarity within it and has faced negative image from the rest of the world. The Taliban further alienated the countries from the remainder of the world with many countries instituting sanctions and changing their foreign policy against Afghanistan and Pakistani governments. It is this that has led to the negative impact on the governance, defense and the quality of life for the citizens of the countries (Moj, 2015). Therefore, the Taliban had adverse effects on the government operations, the people, religion as well as the military of Pakistan and the neighboring Afghanistan.