Dushanbe [Tajikistan], October 22 (ANI): Tajikistan needs to be cautious of the Taliban as it shares a long, mountainous and difficult to control border with Afghanistan.
Temur Umarov in The Frontier Post said that the Tajik army is considered as the weakest in Central Asia and most of the drug traffic from Afghanistan to Russia and Europe passes through Tajikistan, and in recent years, terrorist attacks have occurred in the country more than once.
Irrespective of other Central Asian countries, Tajikistan has taken a tough position against the Taliban with regard to the situation in Afghanistan.
Unlike its neighbours as well as Russia and China, Tajikistan is not in hurry to establish ties with the new authorities in Kabul, but has taken on the role of their main enemy and supports the remnants of the opposition forces in Afghanistan, reported The Frontier Post.
Officially, President Emomali Rahmon justified this position by saying that the Taliban cannot be trusted because they violate the rights of national and religious minorities.
Recently, President Rahmon has returned to the topic of Afghanistan's misfortunes under the Taliban in almost every speech he has made - even in those not related to foreign policy. In particular, he dwelled on this issue in a solemn speech at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Tajikistan's independence on September 8, said Umarov.
At meetings with world leaders and at international venues, Rahmon never tires of repeating, "Tajikistan will not recognize any other government formed in this country through oppression and persecution, without taking into account the position of the entire Afghan people, especially all of its national minorities."Moreover, Tajikistan is the only country in the region that promised to host up to 100,000 refugees from Afghanistan in the summer.
Rahmon also posthumously awarded the leaders of the anti-Taliban movement (ethnic Tajiks) - the legendary commander of the Mujahideen Ahmad Shah Massoud and the ex-President of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani - with the Order of Ismoili Somoni, Tajikistan's highest distinction, reported The Frontier Post.
There are persistent rumours that Tajikistan also supports the remaining opponents of the Taliban - the Afghan National Resistance Front in the Panjshir province (more than 98 per cent of the province's population are ethnic Tajiks). This is the only territory that the Taliban have not yet fully taken over, said Umarov.
According to some reports, the leaders of the resistance are now on the territory of Tajikistan: Ahmad Massoud and the former vice-president of Afghanistan, the self-proclaimed acting President Amrullah Saleh.
It is also reported about a hundred Afghan pilots who fled to Tajikistan and are waiting there while their documents are being prepared to move to Europe or the United States, reported The Frontier Post.
Tajikistan is also actively demonstrating its military readiness. For the first time in the years of independence, hundreds of thousands of servicemen, as well as soldiers from the reserve, were alerted to check their combat training. 20,000 soldiers were sent to the border with Afghanistan, The Frontier Post reported.
For the first time in several years, Rahmon personally visited areas of the country bordering Afghanistan, where he spoke to the military and hosted a military parade.
Ever since the Taliban took over Kabul, Tajik social media has been flooded with material about Afghanistan. Users share scary photos from there, call on the international community to pay attention to the fate of Tajiks in Afghanistan. (ANI)