A young Afghan actress in her 20s, on the condition of anonymity said that women of Afghanistan have always bore the brunt of Taliban rule. They were subjected to Talibanised version of Islamic rules (contradictory to Islamic teachings) which denied them even the basic rights like freedom of movement, access to education, freedom to attire as per wish etc. The actress with agony said that she and thousand other young girls grew in an independent Afghanistan, free from Taliban rule. After testing the sweetness of democracy, she is afraid that reverting back to era of darkness (read Taliban rule) may prove suicidal for many such young women. Back in India, those who are in their 30s must have read a story titled “Kabuliwalah” in their childhood in which a person from Kabul gives dry fruits to a young girl in India free of cost as she reminded her of his own daughter. Its certain that people aware of that story would never want Kabuliwalah’s daughter to grow up under Taliban rule.
With the withdrawal of America from Afghanistan in a hasty manner leaving the country at the mercy of extremist forces, Taliban with the back end support of Pakistan wreaked havoc on the innocent civilians, killed hundreds of Afghan security forces and captured the entire country including Kabul within weeks. Thousands of innocent civilians thronged the Kabul airport trying to leave the country as Taliban fighters captured the Presidential palace. The level of fear of Taliban brutality can be assessed from the fact that more than a dozen Afghans placed themselves in the wheel compartment (below the cargo hold area) of an American aircraft leaving the tarmac. Just after take-off, three of them were captured live falling from the sky. There is no point in guessing about the fate of others in subfreezing temperature and lack of oxygen. Even after knowing that there are chances of their death in the wheel compartment area, they clinged to the aircraft hoping to get away from the brutal regime of Taliban.
With the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan, there is a murmur amongst the extremists in India and all over the world about the possible rise of an Islamic State where Muslims can find safe havens. Indians learnt their lesson soon with the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui. After his death in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago, many persons in India advocated that Danish was killed in a crossfire while covering a fight between Afghan National Army and Taliban fighters in the Spin Boldak region of Afghanistan. Later, enquiries revealed that he was “brutally murdered” by the Taliban after verifying his identity. What happened to safe havens for Muslims theory? The world doesn’t need any more examples of what terrorist organisations can do in the name of Islamic State as they already have plenty of examples in the form of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria). The question that is needed to be asked at this critical juncture is- Can the world afford another organisation like ISIS having full support of Pakistan?
Kashmir witnessed a sudden rise in insurgency after the fall of USSR in Afghanistan and Taliban capturing power in the early 90s. With Russia out of picture and US playing the role of third party, some of the Taliban fighters turned their focus towards Kashmir and turned it into a hell within months whose repercussions are still being borne by Kashmiris till date. The mainland Muslims of India always knew the truth about the violent nature of a terrorist organisation like Taliban, hence, Taliban failed to create any impact past the Jammu & Kashmir border. Some extremist organisations and ill-informed individuals are celebrating the rise of Taliban, however, before falling for their narrative, one must recount the personal experiences of Afghans especially women who were forced to live under the Taliban rule in the 90s.