What is the Taliban?

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The Taliban is an extremist group. The organization began in the 1990s in Pakistan and was a strong force in Afghanistan by 1994. The group formed as a result of Soviet Union troops leaving Afghanistan.

The goal of the Taliban is to enforce their own version of Sharia Law in predominantly Pashtun areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Only three states formally recognized the Taliban: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

There is no overarching political movement, like a manifesto, of the Taliban, so it is hard for outsiders to fully grasp the inner workings and aspirations of the Taliban.


Rashid, Ahmed. “The Taliban: Exporting Extremism.” Foreign Affairs. 16 Sept. 2011. 

“Who Are the Taliban?” BBC News. 07 July 2015.

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