Soviet Union and Rise of the Taliban

In 1947, when the British withdrew from India, they created what is now known today as Pakistan. Afghanistan raised the issue of the Durand Line, which split Pashtun (the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan) lands between the countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Afghanistan requested that the Pashtuns in Pakistan should be given the right to decide if they wanted to set up an independent Pashtun state, which Afghanistan hoped to take over at some point. Pakistan refused, and turned to the USA for support. Afghanistan therefore turned to the other superpower at the time, the communist USSR (Soviets), for support.
The Soviets built roads and irrigation projects, and began to train the army. In 1964 King Zahir Shah set up an elected parliament, allowing the formation of political parties. These reforms began to fail, and the former Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud overthrew the king in 1973, declaring Afghanistan a republic. Daoud attempted to move the country away from the USSR but the army resisted, and in 1978 overthrew him, setting up a communist government.
This new government quickly introduced reforms, seizing land to give to peasant farmers. Many Afghans considered these changes un-Islamic and rebellions quickly rose against the government. In March 1979 a major uprising broke out in Heart, one of the provinces in Afghanistan. Many Soviet and Afghan communists were killed before the government restored order, leaving around 20,000 Heratis dead.
The USSR intervened and the new Prime Minister was quickly overthrown by his more innovative deputy. This caused a coup to overthrow the deputy and install a moderate successor, who then called on Soviet troops to keep order. On 27th December, 1979, 80,000 Soviet troops entered Afghanistan, pushing them into years of war. The USSR troops had fierce opposition from the mujahidin guerrillas, who were supported by the USA. As the conflict grew, 3.5 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and 1.5 million to Iran to escape the...