In 1994, a group of Sunni students of Quran emerged. This group was being led by a Mullah in Kandahar Mohammad Omar Akhund also known as Mullah Omar. They called it the “Taliban” which means students. They had a simple message which is applying Islamic fundamentals on the country and that’s what made them attractive. Due to violence and chaos of Afghanistan, soon after their emergence they became a guerrilla group and were being compared by other mujahidin.
The Taliban gain their numbers by recruiting among Pathan tribesman in the east and the refugees that were residing in refugee camps in Pakistan. After Kandahar. In September 1995, Taliban militiaman also occupied Herat and after a year, Jalalabad falls to Taliban militiaman. In September 1996 they achieved the ultimate success when they burst into Kabul and took control over it as well.
The first thing they did after seizing Kabul was they occupied the UN compound and detained the Ex-president Najibullah. After few hours, Najibullah and his brother were hanged to death at Kabul main traffic intersection. The main agenda of Taliban was to apply Islamic fundamentals on nation and they also hold the quality of incorruptibility which is why the ordinary citizens welcomed their arrival.
They introduced the Islamic Sharia and also assured its compliance. Women should wear a veil in public, they were not allowed to work outside the house. They can only visit the market if accompanied by a male relative. Sharia laws regarding civil crimes were also introduced and implemented accordingly for instance. In case of theft, the thief’s hand will be axed.
As Kabul falls to the Taliban, they were now controlling 2/3 of the country while beyond the mountains north to the city Northern Alliance was residing who were considered as a strong opposing force. It was being led by the members of previous government but there were some tribal distinctions as well. The Taliban was comprised of Pashtun tribes while the Uzbeks, Turkmen and others made up the northern alliance.
The war remained between both of the groups in 1996 which claimed thousands of lives on both sides. In 1997 Northern Alliance killed thousands of Taliban prisoners, similarly when Taliban captured Mazar-e-Sharif in 1998, they massacre thousands of Shia Muslims residing in the city. After occupying Mazar-e-Sharif, now they were controlling 90% of Afghanistan.
After achieving so much and gaining the international attention, in March 1999 the representatives of the Taliban and Northern Alliance gather around the table for forming a joint government. This agreement didn’t end well due to Taliban contacts with Al-Qaeda fundamentalists. Due to this alliance by the early 2000’s the whole situation of the nation changed.