The fall of Kabul from the Taliban marks 20 years with the Islamist return

A member of the Taliban guard in Kabul last week. EFE / EPA / STRINGER

Kabul, Nov 13 (EFE) .- One of the key days for the Taliban regime was the fall of Kabul 20 years ago today with the entry into the city of the guerrillas of the Northern Alliance supported by the United States, a situation that returned to the starting point on August 15 with the return of the Islamists to power.
The expulsion of the Taliban from the capital and the entry into Kabul on November 13, 2001 of the guerrillas of the Northern Alliance, as part of the US invasion, was a hopeful moment for many in the face of the promise of modernity and respect for the human rights, especially those of women.
And despite the persistent insecurity, the war marked by the continuous attacks of the Taliban and the widespread corruption with the dollars that the international community injected into the country, the new Afghanistan began to resurface.
Thus, education became a right and millions of boys and girls entered schools. In addition, respect for women was imposed, and tolerance for freedom of expression allowed the emergence of an independent press, or the development of music.
But many of those gains made over two decades were lost in a matter of weeks, after on August 15, with little resistance, the Taliban reentered Kabul victorious.
November 13, 2001 “was a day of confusion and uncertainty when the Taliban were expelled from Kabul. Still the people had nothing to lose. When the Taliban returned again on August 15 it was also another day of uncertainty but this time it took away most of the achievements that the Afghans had achieved, “activist Malyar told EFE.
Political analyst Abdul Hadi Wazin explained to Efe that “the United States and its Afghan allies entered Kabul on November 13 to fight terrorism, guarantee security, peace and form a responsible government, but after 20 years of war ( …) none of these missions were fulfilled “.
This failure left tens of thousands dead and victims of the war, a devastated country, millions of refugees and displaced people and, finally, the Afghan Army that they formed for 20 years was dismantled in front of their eyes in a matter of days, he lamented.
“To sum it up, they failed and failed very badly,” Wazin said.
And it is that almost twenty years after being expelled from Kabul, the Taliban entered the city again, the Kabulis reliving a scene that they thought would never be repeated.
Although not everything is negative, says the analyst, since the return of the Islamists also generates certain “hopes”, because “after 40 years of misery, finally the war and the bloodshed have ended.”
Now, he opined, it is up to the United States and the international community not to repeat the previous mistakes and to support the new regime to build, perhaps this time, a “modern and developed Afghanistan.”
In these last two decades, which promised to be the golden age for Afghanistan, “we lost tens of thousands of people, civilians, military, and Taliban,” former Taliban and analyst Sayed Akbar Agha told EFE, who although he acknowledges some progress , regrets the economic dependence of his country and the inability to create a livelihood.
“The only achievement that the United States always talked about was the Afghan Army, and they themselves made it collapse,” he said, referring to the little resistance that the soldiers raised to the Taliban advance, conquering the provincial capitals in weeks, and that coincided with the final withdrawal of international troops.
With a large part of the population suffering equally from the clashes between the different sides, for ordinary people the arrival or expulsion of the Taliban is indifferent, more concerned about poverty and hunger.
“People need sustenance, no matter who came and who left. That’s not a big deal for us, the important thing is security and having a fair livelihood,” Ahmad Shah, a merchant from Kabul, told EFE.
For activist Asif Afghanmal, November 13, 2001 was a “golden opportunity” lost to US corruption, violence and political miscalculations.
“One of the mistakes made by the United States was that it did not involve the Taliban in the formation of the government after they were overthrown in 2001 and gave power to the warlords,” many of them members of the Northern Alliance. said.
This error generated in Afghanistan a “war of power” internal and of neighboring countries, and finally led to the collapse of the Government.
“The last 20 years were full of achievements in different sectors, but on August 15, with the fall of Kabul at the hands of the Taliban due to the United States’ miscalculation, it spoiled everything,” the former diplomat and analyst told EFE. Ahmad Sayeedi.
For Sayeedi, Afghanistan went back a century.

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