The inaccurate comparison of Taliban with Boko Haram


By Dr. Bashir Mijinyawa

Following the take over of control and authority by the Taliban from ousted government of President Asraf Ghana,several Nigerian had compared the Taliban with the Boko Haram Terrorists that have been waging an insurgency against the Nigerian state for more than 10 years.

It is very inaccurate in my view to equate the Taliban with the Boko Haram for several reasons.

Taliban was the government with power and authority in Afghanistan prior to 2001 when a Coalition led by America forces invaded the country and remove them from power for one major reason reason according to the US President ; harbouring terrorists such as Usama bin Laden who plans and execute attacks against the US and it interests*.This is the main reason the US invaded Afghanistan and removed Taliban from power 20 years ago according to the recent address by the US President,Joe Biden.

Again and very important is that the Taliban enjoy popular support among the people of Afghanistan even during the 20 years of US invasion.This made the US to come to the realisation that their continued stay in Afghanistan to depend the government they support is unsustainable and could not defeat the unwavering resistance and determination of Taliban to take over power in their country again.

We also need to remember that Afghanistan has a predominant Muslim population like Indonesia,Malaysia,Pakistan,Iran,Saudi Arabia,UAE etc.These predominant Muslim countries are either proclaimed as Islamic Republic(Like in the case of Iran and Pakistan) or implement Sharia law which the US and western world do not have major issues with in as much as it will not allow the support and propagation of extremist ideologies that goes against the interest of the US and Western world.The US views the implementation of Islamic Laws as an issue that largely constitute the internal affairs of the Muslim Majority countries.
The major concern of the US and western Nations therefore is that countries should not support individuals or organisations with extremist ideologies that is inimical to their interest.It is very possible that US had assurances from Taliban that I will not do so moving forward.

The Boko Haram in the other hand are extremists who lunch an insurgency that do not have the support of majority of the people in the area where they operate as oppose to the case of Taliban in Afghanistan.They were never in significant control of government and authority at any level like the Taliban and unlike Afghanistan Nigeria could not be described as a predominant Muslim country and it is unlikely for any insurgency to turn Nigeria into an Islamic country.

The US and it allies have realised that it is not cost effective to keep spending trillions of Dollars of their tax payers money to continue to depend a largely unpopular Government.That it is not cost effective and unsustainable and decided to pull out and allow the Taliban that is “popular” with the Afghans to take over and chart a new course for their country.

The UK  Parliament also held an emergency session to deliberate on the unfolding events in Afghanistan.The UK Prime minister, Boris Johnson unequivocally states that keeping foreign troops in Afghanistan to continue to depend the overthrown government of Ashraf Ghana is unrealistic and unsustainable.

The world has therefore came to the realisation that it is more rational and cost effective to allow the Taliban to take over power and form a broad based and all inclusive government that respect the rights of all citizens including women and minority groups.

Dr Mijinyawa, a Physician and Public Affairs commentator, writes from Abuja Nigeria. He can be reached through

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily