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Remembering Fall of Kabul to Taliban 24 Years Ago

24 years ago on September 27 (or 6th Meezan 1375 in the solar year) the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, just two years after the group was formally founded. 

Kabul at the time was under the control of the Afghan mujahideen, but disagreements between mujahideen factions created an opportunity for the Taliban to take control of territory very easily.

The Afghan mujahideen factions evacuated Kabul and the Taliban regime lasted for five years.

At the time, the Afghan people were tired of the civil war that had gripped their country following the victory of the mujahideen over the Soviet-backed government of Najibullah, and many Afghans expected that the Taliban would rebuild their country and that peace would prevail despite the very restrictive Taliban laws.

Meanwhile, for many Afghan girls and women, the group's domination of the country's major cities meant the end of their dreams and aspirations.

Shahnaz Ghawsi is a member of the Afghan parliament who during the Taliban regime witnessed the beating of girls and women who were accused of violating the Taliban’s rules.

شهناز غوثی، عضو مجلس نماینده‌گان

But the hardship seen by Afghan women such as Shahnaz Ghawsi has made them more resilient in the face of current difficulties in the country, Ghawsi says.

“We are among those who worked alongside our brothers over the past 20 years, we served and struggled, today we have the right to work, today we have the right to be present in the society,” said Ghawsi.

“There was a situation in which Afghanistan was under attack from all sides, all forces were fighting each other, and they failed to address the demands of the people,” said Mohammad Musa Pakteen, an Afghan citizen.

24 years after the entry of the Taliban in Kabul, the United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha and the Afghan people hope there is a possibity for a political settlement to end the conflict. 

Assassination of President Najibullah

After entering Kabul, the Taliban swiftly killed Dr. Najibullah and his brother Shahpor Ahmadzai and hung their bodies in Ariana Square in Kabul.

Every year, Najibullah’s supporters commemorate his death in Kabul and in the provinces.

This year, Najibullah’s supporters were expected to commemorate the anniversary of his death in the Loya Jirga hall, but the ceremony was cancelled.

Najibullah’s supporters say there are some circles who pressured the government to not allow the ceremony to take place in the Loya Jirga hall.

They said that such moves are against democratic values.

Members of the Hizb-e-Watan party, for which Najibullah was chairman, have said that more than 10,000 people had registered their names to participate in the ceremony.

“We received a message from the Presidential Palace that you can't organize the ceremony in the Loya Jirga Hall,” said Shafiq, a supporter of Najibullah.

In a letter purportedly issued by the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami party, the government was warned against allowing Najibullah’s supporters to convene their ceremony in the Loya Jirga hall.

On Friday, Hekmatyar himself asked Hizb-e-Islami supporters to stop the ceremony.

“Siege the Loya Jirga on the day of commemoration of the killer Najibullah and close down all roads,” said Hekmatyar.

Meanwhile, Fatana Najibullah, the wife of Najibullah, in a message said that she and her children share the same pain other Afghans have today from war and bloodshed.

“My children and myself have experienced the biggest tragedy and its bitter implications and have paid the biggest price from the martyrdom of Dr. Najibullah and martyr Ahmadzai. We feel the burden of this national tragedy that is in the heart of every Afghan, we share a common pain with all families,” said Fatana Najibullah.

Shakar Dara protests

Meanwhile, some families in Shakar Dara district of Kabul who lost their loved ones during the Taliban period said that they are prepared to pardon the Taliban if all layers of the society are included in the peace talks.

They said that the Taliban committed major atrocities in the district 24 years ago.

Kundil Quraishi is a resident of Shakar Dara who lost four of his family members in the Taliban’s offensive on Shakar Dara.

“Unforgeable crimes occurred, but we are ready to make peace for the future of our children,” he said.

Family members of war victims in the country expect that any agreement with the Taliban will take into account the rights of all people, especially those who have been victims of violence.

Remembering Fall of Kabul to Taliban 24 Years Ago

The Afghan mujahideen factions evacuated Kabul and the Taliban regime lasted for five years.

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24 years ago on September 27 (or 6th Meezan 1375 in the solar year) the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, just two years after the group was formally founded. 

Kabul at the time was under the control of the Afghan mujahideen, but disagreements between mujahideen factions created an opportunity for the Taliban to take control of territory very easily.

The Afghan mujahideen factions evacuated Kabul and the Taliban regime lasted for five years.

At the time, the Afghan people were tired of the civil war that had gripped their country following the victory of the mujahideen over the Soviet-backed government of Najibullah, and many Afghans expected that the Taliban would rebuild their country and that peace would prevail despite the very restrictive Taliban laws.

Meanwhile, for many Afghan girls and women, the group's domination of the country's major cities meant the end of their dreams and aspirations.

Shahnaz Ghawsi is a member of the Afghan parliament who during the Taliban regime witnessed the beating of girls and women who were accused of violating the Taliban’s rules.

شهناز غوثی، عضو مجلس نماینده‌گان

But the hardship seen by Afghan women such as Shahnaz Ghawsi has made them more resilient in the face of current difficulties in the country, Ghawsi says.

“We are among those who worked alongside our brothers over the past 20 years, we served and struggled, today we have the right to work, today we have the right to be present in the society,” said Ghawsi.

“There was a situation in which Afghanistan was under attack from all sides, all forces were fighting each other, and they failed to address the demands of the people,” said Mohammad Musa Pakteen, an Afghan citizen.

24 years after the entry of the Taliban in Kabul, the United States signed a peace deal with the Taliban in Doha and the Afghan people hope there is a possibity for a political settlement to end the conflict. 

Assassination of President Najibullah

After entering Kabul, the Taliban swiftly killed Dr. Najibullah and his brother Shahpor Ahmadzai and hung their bodies in Ariana Square in Kabul.

Every year, Najibullah’s supporters commemorate his death in Kabul and in the provinces.

This year, Najibullah’s supporters were expected to commemorate the anniversary of his death in the Loya Jirga hall, but the ceremony was cancelled.

Najibullah’s supporters say there are some circles who pressured the government to not allow the ceremony to take place in the Loya Jirga hall.

They said that such moves are against democratic values.

Members of the Hizb-e-Watan party, for which Najibullah was chairman, have said that more than 10,000 people had registered their names to participate in the ceremony.

“We received a message from the Presidential Palace that you can't organize the ceremony in the Loya Jirga Hall,” said Shafiq, a supporter of Najibullah.

In a letter purportedly issued by the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami party, the government was warned against allowing Najibullah’s supporters to convene their ceremony in the Loya Jirga hall.

On Friday, Hekmatyar himself asked Hizb-e-Islami supporters to stop the ceremony.

“Siege the Loya Jirga on the day of commemoration of the killer Najibullah and close down all roads,” said Hekmatyar.

Meanwhile, Fatana Najibullah, the wife of Najibullah, in a message said that she and her children share the same pain other Afghans have today from war and bloodshed.

“My children and myself have experienced the biggest tragedy and its bitter implications and have paid the biggest price from the martyrdom of Dr. Najibullah and martyr Ahmadzai. We feel the burden of this national tragedy that is in the heart of every Afghan, we share a common pain with all families,” said Fatana Najibullah.

Shakar Dara protests

Meanwhile, some families in Shakar Dara district of Kabul who lost their loved ones during the Taliban period said that they are prepared to pardon the Taliban if all layers of the society are included in the peace talks.

They said that the Taliban committed major atrocities in the district 24 years ago.

Kundil Quraishi is a resident of Shakar Dara who lost four of his family members in the Taliban’s offensive on Shakar Dara.

“Unforgeable crimes occurred, but we are ready to make peace for the future of our children,” he said.

Family members of war victims in the country expect that any agreement with the Taliban will take into account the rights of all people, especially those who have been victims of violence.

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