Military Wiki

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan[1] (Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي امارات, Da Afghanistan Islami Amarat) was established in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001. Even at the peak of their influence, the Taliban did not control the entirety of Afghanistan, as about 10% of the country in the northeast was held by the Northern Alliance.[2]


The Taliban and its rule arose from the chaos of post-Soviet Afghanistan. It began as an Islamic fundamentalist politico-religious movement composed of madrasa students in southern Afghanistan. Overwhelmingly ethnic Pashtuns, the Taliban blended Pashtunwali tribal code with elements of Deobandi Islamic teaching to form an anti-Western and anti-modern Islamic ideology with which it ruled.[3] It began to receive support from neighboring Pakistan as well as from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the meantime, countries like the United States and others were watching from a distance and hoping that this new movement would end the Afghan civil war.

Spreading from Kandahar, the Taliban eventually seized Kabul in 1996. By the end of 2000, the Taliban were able to capture 90% of the country, aside from the opposition (Northern Alliance) strongholds primarily found in the northeast corner of Badakhshan Province. The Taliban sought to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law and were later implicated as supporters of mujahideen, most notably by harbouring Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

During the five-year history of the Islamic Emirate, much of the population experienced restrictions on their freedom and violations of their human rights. Women were banned from jobs, and girls were forbidden to attend schools or universities and were requested to observe purdah and to abstain from obscenities. Those who resisted were punished. Communists were systematically executed and thieves were punished by amputating one of their hands or feet. Meanwhile, the Taliban succeeded in nearly eradicating the majority of the opium production by 2001.[4]

Following the Taliban's unappeasing treatment of Afghanistan's Shia minority, Iran stepped up assistance to the Northern Alliance. Relations with the Taliban deteriorated further in 1998 after Taliban forces seized the Iranian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif and executed Iranian diplomats. Following this incident, Iran threatened to invade Afghanistan by massing up military forces near the Afghan border but intervention by the United Nations Security Council and the United States prevented the war.

The Taliban maintained a military during their period of control. The Taliban army possessed over 400 T-54/55 and T-62 tanks and more than 200 Armoured personal carriers.[5] The Afghan Air Force under the Taliban maintained five supersonic MIG-21MFs and 10 Sukhoi-22 fighter-bombers.[6] In 1995, during the 1995 Airstan incident, a Taliban fighter plane captured a Russian transport. They also held six Mil Mi-8 helicopters, five Mi-35s, five L-39Cs, six An-12s, 25 An-26s, a dozen An-24/32s, an IL-18, and a Yakovlev.[7] Their civil air service contained two Boeing 727A/Bs, a Tu-154, five An-24s, and a DHC-6.[7]

International relations

Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recognized the Taliban government.[8] The state was not recognised in the UN. Turkmenistan, however, was known to have held official meetings and agreements with Taliban government ministers.

One reason for lack of international recognition was the Taliban's disregard for human rights and the rule of law as demonstrated by their actions on taking power. One of the first acts of the Taliban upon seizing power was the execution of the former Communist President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Najibullah. Before the Taliban had even taken control of Afghanistan's capital they sent out a squad to arrest Najibullah. As Najibullah was staying in the United Nations compound in Kabul, this was a violation of international law.[citation needed] As a further example, the Taliban regime was also heavily criticised for the murder of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan[9] in 1998. The Taliban supported the Islamic militants operating in Chechnya, Kashmir, and Xinjiang, thus antagonizing Russia, India, and the People's Republic of China simultaneously.

In 2013, the Taliban opened an office in Qatar.[10] The goal of this office was to begin talks between the United States, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.[11] There was a conflict after the office raised the white flag of the former Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying that the office could be closed if there was not a "move forward" in peace negotiations.[12][13]


On 15 October 1999, the UN Security Council established a sanctions regime to cover individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and/or the Taliban.[14] Since the U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the sanctions were applied to individuals and organizations in all parts of the world; also targeting former members of the Taliban government.

On January 27, 2010, a United Nations sanctions committee removed five former senior Taliban officials from this list, in a move favoured by Afghan President Karzai. The decision means the five will no longer be subject to an international travel ban, assets freeze and arms embargo. The five men, all high-ranking members of the Taliban government:

  • Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, former foreign minister.
  • Fazal Mohammad, former deputy minister of commerce.
  • Shams-us-Safa Aminzai, former Taliban foreign affairs press officer.
  • Mohammad Musa Hottak, former deputy minister of planning.
  • Abdul Hakim, former deputy minister of frontier affairs.

All had been added to the list in January or February 2001.[15]

Mohammed Omar continues to speak in the name of this Emirate.[16]

See also

  • Islamic Emirate of Waziristan
  • History of Afghanistan since 1992
  • Mullah Kabir
  • Tariq Ghazniwal, one spokesperson for the AEI.


  1. Directorate of Intelligence (2001). "CIA -- The World Factbook -- Afghanistan" (mirror). Retrieved 2008-03-07. "note - the self-proclaimed Taliban government refers to the country as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" 
  2. Map of areas controlled in Afghanistan '96
  3. Rashid, Taliban (2000)
  4. Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban
  5. The Guardian, Taliban lose grip on Mazar i Sharif, November 7, 2001
  6. York, Geoffrey. Globe and Mail, "Military Targets Are Elusive. Afghanistan Army Called a Haphazard Operation", September 19, 2001
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jane's Sentinel Security Assessment, 2001
  8. Terrorism and Global Disorder - Adrian Guelke - Google Libros. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  12. <
  15. "U.N. Reconciles itself to Five Members of Mulla Omar's Cabinet"
  16. [1][dead link]

External links

Preceded by
Islamic State of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
1996 – 2001
Succeeded by
Afghan Interim Administration

Coordinates: 33°56′N 66°11′E / 33.933°N 66.183°E / 33.933; 66.183

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).