Theocracy planned on Afghan-Tajik border: Analysts
KABUL: Political analysts claimed on Wednesday that some regional actors are trying to foment trouble in areas along the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border and install a theocracy there.
The government of Tajikistan launched a clean-up operation after an intelligence official was shot dead by an armed opposition group in the Khariq area. Several border policemen and rebels were killed in the operation.
Tajik officials claimed the rebels, escaping the operation, sneaked into the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan.
Abdul Maroof Rasikh, the governor’s spokesman, said ago that the Interior Ministry had recently ordered security forces to take stern steps to stem illegal border crossings and maintain security along the frontier. He confirmed borders of the province with the neighbouring country had been temporarily sealed.
The Mahmood Tarzai Foundation invited political analysts and Wolesi Jirga members to a discussion on recent incidents in areas along the Afghan-Tajik border. They believed some groups were trying to create a theocratic government in the border areas.
Speaking on the occasion, parliamentarian Fauzia Kofi called Badakhshan a strategic province, sharing borders with China, Tajikistan and Pakistan. The legislator -- hailing from the province -- alleged efforts had long been underway to fuel unrest in Badakhshan.
“Some regional elements are trying to destabilise Badakhshan, where insecurity will have a direct impact on all northeastern provinces -- creating hurdles to cargo transit, closing key link roads, including NATO supply line, and a decline in commerce.”
Kofi said: “One unconfirmed report has it that certain political and religious forces are pondering over the creation of a new state in the border areas. But this proposition is still being studied politically.'' The influence of Islamists and criminal groups in the areas is another reason for the unrest, according to her.
Political analyst, Syed Jilani Zwak, described Badakhshan as a key drug smuggling route to Central Asian countries, where the presence of criminal gangs could convert border areas between Afghanistan and Tajikistan into a Waziristan.
He viewed Badakhshan as the right place from where for the groups wanted to export insecurity to Central Asia. Zwak called for keeping a close eye on the groups that are reportedly trying to install a theocracy.
He asked the government to initiate stern action on the issue, warning that trouble on the border could add to Afghanistan’s vulnerability.
A defence expert, Javed Kohistani, alleged some groups were intent upon disturbing the security situation in Tajikistan. He said there was no doubt that regional spy networks, especially Pakistan’s ISI, was behind the current turmoil.--(PAN)
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