One of the most tangible manifestation of the double standards in the post war global political history has been witnessed in Afghanistan. Their armed resistance against Soviets was termed as the holy jihad while the similar act against US had been labelled as terrorism. Therefore, driven by this inherent bias and a pronounced prejudice, the political leadership in the US-led West and Western media negatively portray the Afghan Jihad and have unleashed a malicious campaign against Islamophobia orchestrated through a manipulated propaganda. On the other hand, many believe that Afghan Jihad is a justified freedom movement against the foreign occupation of their land and resources. Thus, the main objective of perpetual armed struggle has been to liberate Afghanistan from occupation forces. The Khalq Parcham party led by Noor Muhammad Taraki of Afghanistan extended an invitation to Soviet Union was aimed to stabilize their government in Kabul. The Soviets also saw in it an opportunity to build on the historical legacy of Eastward expansion emanating from the past Great Game and thereby tried to accomplish the unfinished agenda to get access to navigable water. They also wanted to promote Communist ideology around the globe which started with the Bolshevik Revolution back in 1917. Overconfidence of its own military superiority & the unawareness of the Afghan Terrain, Russians lost miserably in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has remained as an invincible and undefeatable since the known history. The negligence of the Taliban culture of Afghanistan and their resilient nature has been one of the most dominant factors causing defeats to almost all invaders. Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, Taliban have transformed from poachers to game keepers and are engaging in counter-terrorism to protect major Afghan cities like Kabul from the threat of IS-K. Pakistan in the first three years played a pivotal role and supported the Afghan guerrilla war against the Soviet. The major external players including Saudi Arabia, Israel & Egypt further strengthened their power to resist foreign occupation (around 65 thousand tons of light weaponry were provided due to the US request to both). Seven Afghan factions were united by Pakistan and US and they fought shoulder to shoulder by waging Jihad against the Soviet occupier. It is a sad fact of history that the present day Al-Qaida was established by US in 1983. Loads of Jihadi Literature was got printed in American University of Nebraska worth USD 13 million. The Clash of Civilization by Samuel P. Huntington (1993) indicates towards the alliance of the Islamic and Confucius civilization as the new emerging threat. The political pundits in the West no longer see any threat in the communism but now the next threat to the western civilization may arise from the alliance of Islamic and Confucius Chinese Civilization. It is a fact of recent history that when Afghan Taliban took over Afghanistan including Capital Kabul in 1996, the US provided aid of 500 million dollars to Taliban regime. Later, because of the differences on pipeline politics and rigidity of Taliban justice system and Human rights violations, the US withdrew its support to Taliban and started to criticize them. Post 9/11, the US pressed the Taliban to hand over Osama Bin Laden and decided to attack Afghanistan rejecting Taliban’s demand for first showing any evidence of his involvement in the attacks on US twin towers. The US attacked Afghanistan apparently to avenge 9/11 attacks and to punish the perpetrators. However, it had other objectives as well. The US military wanted presence in the region to have a check on China, Russia, Iran and also to keep an Argus eye on Pakistan’s nuclear program. Likewise, US had designs to get access to Central Asian resources, to explore the untapped natural resources of Afghanistan, to pursue the power elite interest by invading the weak, vulnerable and ethically divided country- Afghanistan and followed by similar action in Saddam’s Iraq. The combined economic and political interests of Military-industrial complex made the US to attack Afghanistan and later on Iraq. The rampant corruption in the rank and file of US installed puppet regimes since 2002 and the internal divisions among the word-lords of Afghanistan also led to strengthen Afghan Taliban. The external support to Afghan Taliban came in the shape of finance and providing natural sanctuaries. Drone attacks by the US against the innocent Afghans further generated hatred. The rural mass support to Taliban made matters worse for US-led NATO forces as the phony government was confined to major cities since the US arrival in Afghanistan. The US failure to win the heart and minds of common Afghans made it an unpopular war. Last but not the least, the Taliban effective propaganda through social media to propagate their Islamic ideology and values worked wonders for Taliban. The Ideology and religious belief that Jihad will continue till ‘Judgment Day’ largely helped Taliban to win against US and other western forces. The desire to get nothing less than martyrdom also kept the spirit of Taliban and they fought till their final victory. Owing to these multiple challenges and ground realties, the US failed to fulfill its geo-strategic objectives even after two decades of war. Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, Taliban have transformed from poachers to game keepers and are engaging in counter-terrorism to protect major Afghan cities like Kabul from the threat of IS-K. The Afghan Mujahedeen started Jihad first against the occupation of USSR’s troops and then against the NATO allied forces led by US and defeated them with equally stronger zeal and greater determination. After the USSR’s defeat from Afghanistan, the Taliban enjoyed control of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and enforced an Islamic law in the state. Following the US-led invasion that toppled the Taliban regime in 2001, the Taliban regrouped and began reclaiming their lost territory within ten years after their ouster. By August 2021, the Taliban had peacefully controlled the Afghanistan. The Taliban’s top spokesman Zabih Uallah Mujahid congratulated Afghans on their victory after the last US troops left the country following 20 years of military intervention. The spokesperson announced in clear terms that their fight against the foreign occupation was over. Afghanistan is apparently still standing where it was 20 years ago even after decades of rebuilding efforts. The country’s impassable terrain, a society which is deeply embedded in religious values, balance of power among external players on account of their conflicting geo-political objectives, and an aversion of people towards foreign occupation turned the country into a graveyard for all great powers. It is so very reassuring to see that on 21 September 2021, Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara representatives were included in Taliban’s government and this has expanded cabinet to ‘make’ it more inclusive. The Americans have acknowledged that the Taliban have helped in the evacuation and have not reneged on their promise to allow the departure of foreign nationals and those Afghans with valid travel documents. Taliban leaders reiterated their commitment to take action against the militant Islamic State group and other terrorist groups present in Afghanistan. The prolonged fighting of Taliban against a collation of 48 countries under US and the people of Afghanistan, who withstood the difficulties are to be saluted for their valor. Peace and stability seem to figure large on the agenda of Taliban. The Quadruple of Afghanistan consisting US, Russia, China and Pakistan have agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghans while all countries understand the need for positive engagement with the Taliban. Taliban have justified their Jihad as a legitimate struggle for independence from foreign occupation. Their ideology and religious beliefs hold that their Jihad till exit of US led western forces contributed to the success of the Taliban. Furthermore, Taliban built a narrative to win the hearts and minds of Afghan people and paralyzed the Ghani administration and its forces. Taliban have finally declared that the Jihad is over in Afghanistan after the final exit of foreign occupation forces from Afghanistan on 31st August, 2021. Time has already come that International and regional players should get engaged with Taliban in order to bring stability not only in Afghanistan but also in the region. Taliban leadership has shown commitment to take action against the militant Islamic State group and other terrorist outfits present in Afghanistan. It is about time that international and regional powers should meaningfully engage with Taliban for reconstruction and thereby ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan. The writer is a civil servant by profession, a writer by choice and a motivational speaker by passion!