1,985. 4/16/2001

“As pressure mounted on the Taliban, the moderate wing within its leadership–who despised the Arabs, was opposed to international terrorism, and was secretly willing to negotiate with the United Nations and others–suffered a major setback when their leader, Mullah Mohammed Rabbani, died of cancer in a Karachi [Pakistan] hospital on 16 April [2001]. Rabbani was the de facto second in command of the Taliban and had strongly opposed the growing influence of the Arabs on the movement. With Rabbani gone, Al Qaeda persuaded [Taliban leader] Mullah Mohammed Omar to issue extreme edicts imposing mandates that were unrelated to Afghan culture and tradition.”

 – Ahmed Rashid, Taliban, Page 218

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