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  • Sunday, 01 August 2021
Insurgents imposing strict orders in newly seized territory

Insurgents imposing strict orders in newly seized territory

GS II - Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

 

  • Days after the Taliban captured a remote district in Afghanistan’s north, they issued their first orders in the form of a letter to the local imam.
    1. Women can’t go to the bazaar without a male companion.
    2. Men should not shave their beards
    3. Banned smoking
    4. Girls were banned from school
    5. Adultery were stoned to death
    6. Men would be beaten if they didn’t attend prayers
    7. Only wear traditional clothing
  • Insurgents warned that anybody violating the rules “will be seriously dealt with”.
  • The Taliban are making huge advances across the country as they capitalise on the final withdrawal of foreign troops —
  1. Capturing districts,
  2. Seizing key border crossings
  3. Encircling provincial capitals
  • Last month they took Sher Khan Bandar, a northern customs post that connected the country to Tajikistan over a U.S.-funded bridge that spanned the Panj river.

Harsh rule

  • In some areas they are again introducing the harsh interpretation of Islamic rule that earned them notoriety until being overthrown by the US-led invasion that followed the September 11 attacks.
  • The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 according to an interpretation of the Koran little changed in centuries.
  • Afghanistan is deeply conservative and some rural pockets of the country adhere to similar rules even without Taliban oversight -- but the insurgents have tried to impose these edicts even in more modern centres.

Recent captures

  • The Taliban captured the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak on the frontier with Pakistan.
  • Dry ports seized by the Taliban.
  • The border crossing is one of the most strategically valuable for the Taliban.
  • It provides direct access to Pakistan’s Balochistan province — where the insurgents’ top leadership has been based for decades — along with an unknown number of reserve fighters who regularly enter Afghanistan to help bolster their ranks.
  • Balochistan is a favoured destination for fighters regularly heading for medical treatment and hosts many of their families.
  • A major highway leading from the border connects to Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi and its sprawling port on the Arabian Sea, which is considered a linchpin for Afghanistan's billion-dollar heroin trade that has provided a crucial source of revenue for the Taliban's war chest over the years.

Purpose of capturing border post

  • To choke off much-needed revenue from the government in Kabul while also filling their own coffers.

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