Tuesday, February 13, 2007


In April 1992, a prominent Mujahideen commander Ahmed Shah Masood (Lion of Panjshir valley) moved into Kabul. Najibullah then took refuge in the UN compound in Kabul. Between 1992 and 1996, Afghanistan was in semi-anarchy, as the country was carved into individual fiefdoms by the warlords.

In 1996, Unocal of the U.S. and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia became interested in mineral wealth of Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. The ideal route to bring oil from the Caspian sea and gas from the Daulatabad gas field (in Turkmenistan) would have been via Iran. Because of US policy of isolating Iran, Unocal and Delta oil thought of building a pipeline via Afghanistan.

Pakistan created the Taliban with funds from Saudi Arabia and UAE. They took into their rolls thousands of Pasthuns who had enrolled in madrasas adjoining Afghanistan. Because these men had never taken part in war, they were secretly trained and led by Muofficers from the Pakistani army. Arms and ammunition including tanks, howitzers, and other military vehicles were provided Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. In 1996, The Taliban crossed the border into Afghanistan. Initially, they were dismissed as a joke but in September 1996, they had captured Kabul.

However, the Taliban could not occupy all of Afghanistan. (They did occupy 90% of it at one time.) At one point when the Taliban was overstretched and the Northern Alliance was poised to attack, the Clinton administration despatched UN envoy Bill Richardson and Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth to Afghanistan to broker a ceasefire and an arms embargo.

U.S. media, led by the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek and others, has created a notion that the Taliban fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan by tracing its origins to the Mujahideen. The truth however is that the Taliban was not in existence at that time. Taliban was created to fight the Mujahideen, not the Soviets.

1 comment:

MarcLord said...

great root-cause synopsis; you deserve a wider audience. I can't provide it, but can link to this.