Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 141

According to a Tajik government statement, Afghan military authorities loyal to the Kabul government are providing logistical help to Tajik opposition fighters moving into Tajikistan from sanctuaries on Afghan territory. Expressing "puzzlement" over Kabul’s position, "incompatible with its observer status at the inter-Tajik negotiations," the Dushanbe government warned that it is being "forced to reappraise" its relations with Kabul. The Tajik government "reserves the right to carry out preventive measures including strikes with all types of forces at its disposal" in order to maintain security along the Afghan border, the statement said. As a first step it announced a decision to close all crossing and trading points which had been opened last year on the border. (Interfax, July 16 and 17) Dushanbe and Moscow have cultivated the Kabul government, dominated by ethnic Tajiks, and sided with it against the Taliban and other rivals, expecting Kabul to curb the Tajik opposition’s use of Afghan territory. However, the embattled Kabul government has proven unable to control the border areas abutting on Tajikistan. Dushanbe’s warning about military strikes may be read as intimating a resumption of bombing raids, which Russian aviation carried out in previous years against Tajik refugee camps in Afghanistan.

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