IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


17th June, 2023 International Relations

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  • A report on a peace conference held in Oslo, Norway, where representatives from the Taliban met with Indian and Pakistani special envoys, as well as officials from other countries and international diplomats.


  • Taliban representatives met with Indian and Pakistani special envoys and international diplomats in Oslo.
  • The talks were organized by the Norwegian government to address the impasse in negotiations.
  • Afghan diaspora groups criticized the talks for legitimizing the Taliban.

Reasons for the Talks:

  • The Norwegian Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of not isolating Afghanistan.
  • Isolation could worsen the situation for the Afghan people and create opportunities for terrorist groups like ISIS.
  • Three Afghan civil servants, not top leadership, participated in the talks to discuss major challenges in the country.

Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan:

  • Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis with acute food shortages and human rights violations, including the denial of education and employment to women by the Taliban.

India's Involvement:

  • India reopened its mission in Kabul in June 2022 and maintains a technical team overseeing aid and development initiatives.
  • India's recent shipment of 20,000 tonnes of wheat arriving via the Chabahar port in Iran was discussed during the talks.

Participants and Discussions:

  • Taliban officials held closed-door talks with special envoys from the U.S., the U.K., Norway, Qatar, India, and Pakistan, as well as the head of UNAMA.
  • Members of Afghan civil society, including a woman negotiator and a leading lawyer, also participated.
  • Concerns were raised about the decision to halt girls' education in Afghanistan.

Priority Areas for Stabilization:

  • Discussions highlighted priority areas to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban regime received admiration from the U.S. and European delegations for cracking down on opium production in the country.

Criticism and Legitimacy Concerns:

  • Afghan diaspora groups, including those in Norway, criticized the talks for legitimizing the Taliban.
  • Critics argue that engaging with the Taliban may give them undue credibility and reward their actions.

About Taliban

Emergence in the 1990s:

  • The Taliban emerged in the early 1990s in Afghanistan, primarily consisting of Afghan Pashtun students who were educated in religious schools in Pakistan.
  • They gained popularity by promising to bring stability, law, and order to a war-torn Afghanistan.

Rise to Power:

  • By 1996, the Taliban had captured Kabul and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, controlling around 90% of the country.
  • Their strict interpretation of Islamic law and harsh treatment of women drew international attention and condemnation.

Control and Rule:

  • Under Taliban rule, Afghanistan became a safe haven for terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden.
  • They imposed a severe version of Sharia law, restricting women's rights, banning forms of entertainment, and enforcing punishments such as public executions and amputations.
  • The destruction of ancient Buddha statues in Bamiyan in 2001 drew global outrage.

International Response:

  • The Taliban's support for terrorism led to international isolation and sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
  • The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as a response to the 9/11 attacks, with the goal of removing the Taliban from power and dismantling Al-Qaeda.

Taliban's Insurgency:

  • Following their removal from power, the Taliban regrouped and launched an insurgency against the Afghan government and international forces.
  • They found support among disenchanted segments of the Afghan population due to corruption, instability, and civilian casualties resulting from the conflict.

Negotiations and Fragmentation:

  • Over the years, several attempts were made to engage the Taliban in peace talks to find a political solution to the conflict.
  • The Taliban fragmented into different factions, with some more open to negotiations and others continuing the armed struggle.

Return to Power in 2021:

  • In August 2021, the Taliban swiftly captured major Afghan cities and ultimately took control of Kabul, leading to the collapse of the Afghan government and President Ashraf Ghani's departure.
  • The takeover was facilitated by the withdrawal of international troops, signaling the end of a 20-year military presence in Afghanistan.

International Recognition and Concerns:

  • The Taliban's return to power raised concerns about the future of human rights, particularly women's rights, and the potential for Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists once again.
  • Various countries and international organizations engaged in discussions with the Taliban, seeking assurances regarding inclusive governance, human rights, and the prevention of terrorism.

Ongoing Challenges:

  • The Taliban's rule faces significant challenges, including the need to address the
  • country's economic crisis, provide basic services to the population, and gain international recognition and support.
  • The international community closely watches the Taliban's actions and commitments, particularly regarding human rights, terrorism, and governance, as Afghanistan enters a new phase under their control.


Q) Analyze the role of neighboring countries and global powers in shaping the future trajectory of Afghanistan under Taliban rule. (150 words)