‘Tajiks must take a worthy place in the future government of Afghanistan’

Kirill Krivosheev

The authorities of Tajikistan – the last country in the re-gion to have not established any relationship w-ith Taliban – made it clear that their position rema-ins unchanged for now. Moreover, the Taliban, according to the Tajik state agency Khovar, “are reneging on their previous promises to form an interim transitional government with the broad participation of other political forces in the country.” This topic was discussed at a meeting between Ta-jik President Emomali Rahmon and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, one of the main supporters of the Taliban outside Afghanistan.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon decided to demonstrate his principled position on Afghanistan. Recall that Dushanbe remains the last player in the region that has not established relatio-ns with the Taliban movement, while Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan and China did so a few years ago. However, the Tajik Embassy in Kabul has not been evacuated and is “waiting for the development of the situation.”

On Wednesday, August 25, Mr. Rahmon met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi and expressed his concerns about the development of the situation in Afgha-nistan. “The facts clearly show that the Taliban are abandoning their previous promises to form an interim transitional government with the wide participation of other political forces in the country and are preparing to create an Islamic emirate,” says the Tajik state news agency Khovar.

  • 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. It was emphasized that the Tajiks must take their rightful place in the future government of Afghanistan. “

Let us remind you that Tajiks make up about a third of the Afghan population.

Mr. Qureshi, with whom President Rahmon spoke, has a different attitude to the Taliban. “When the time comes, we will recognize the Taliban government in accordance with international consensus, local realities and Pakistani national interests,” he said on August 15, the day the Taliban occupied Kabul. True, in Dushanbe, the minister was more restrained. “Pakistan is a supporter of the creation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, in which representatives of all peoples can actively participate,” he told Emomali Rahmon. In general, Pakistan is considered one of the main sponsors of the Taliban and the country that has the greatest influence on the militants.

“It is important to note that no one invited Shah Mahmud Qureshi – he invited himself,” Tajik political scientist and expert on Islamic extremism Rustam Azizi told Kommersant. “He is simply touring the region, convincing all countries to recognize the Taliban government. At the same time, Tajikistan’s position on the Taliban remains unchanged. This can cause confusion, and maybe admiration – even larger players can rarely afford to be principled in such a situation. ” Mr. Azizi added that “in Tajikistan, the Taliban’s coming to power is not considered accomplished and completed, since Afghanistan is a very changeable country.”

Rustam Burnashev, a professor at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty, expressed a different opinion. He is convinced: “Rahmon understands well that the arrival of the Taliban is a reality.” “The Tajik side expressed its position not so much on the Taliban movement as on the future government of Afghanistan,” the expert told Kommersant. “This position, among other things, is based on the fact that Tajikistan has very close ties, both positive and negative, with Afghan Tajiks. and the population of Afghanistan, which speaks Dari (a language close to Tajik and Persian. – “Kommersant”) generally. Dushanbe cannot ignore these ties and insists that “ Tajiks must take their rightful place in the future government of Afghanistan. ” Moreover, the leadership of Tajikistan fears that the Taliban, which is ethnically Pashtun at its core and religiously fundamentalist, may begin to put pressure on other ethnic groups and their way of life. “

After talking with Shah Mahmoud Qureshi, Mr. Rahmon phoned French President Emmanuel Macron and agreed “to continue consultations on Afghan issues.” Mr. Macron, in turn, invited his Tajik counterpart to visit the Elysee Palace. The visit will take place very soon – on October 13th. This step can also be called symbolic – it is Paris that most clearly expresses fears about human rights in Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power. In addition, it was the French magazine La Regle du jeu that published an appeal to the world community by Ahmad Massoud, an Afghan Tajik and leader of the anti-Taliban resistance, who continues to defend in the Panjshir Gorge, one of the most inaccessible regions of Afghanistan.

However, despite this, Mr. Masoud can hardly count on external support, in particular from Russia. In an interview with RBC, the leader of the resistance said that he had not yet had contacts with representatives of the Russian authorities, although he was counting on them. “I hope they will intervene politically and help avoid an escalation of violence. And this is in their interests, because if extremist ideology is introduced here, it will flare up throughout Central Asia and southern Russia, then extremism will be on the rise, ”he warned.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Kabul Dmitry Zhirnov has a different position. Speaking on the air of the YouTube channel “Solovyov Live”, he spoke about the supporters of Ahmad Massoud not at all flattering.

“In fact, the militia lives on money stolen by Saleh (ex-vice-president of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, who joined Ahmad Masud, is also an ethnic Tajik – Kommersant ) from the treasury when he fled from Kabul,” the diplomat said and added: “Military potential the rebels have few ”.

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