Recently, it was reported by media that Russia has said that it is ready to protect its ally Tajikistan in the event of any incursions from neighbouring Afghanistan. Reports also said the predominantly ethnic Pashtun Taliban have struck an alliance with one particular Tajik militant group which may be planning an incursion into Tajikistan.
Russia, in my view, is clearly skirting around the truth; it's not saying the whole truth. The truth is that Tajiks in Afghanistan constitute the second largest ethnic community after Pashtun. It is also a truth that Taliban have shown no intentions or plans to attack any neighbouring state, let alone Tajikistan. Russia has its 21st Military base based in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe. Is it mulling launching any aggression against a beleaguered, weak and economically bankrupt Afghanistan where Taliban have re-established their rule after their heroic struggle against foreign forces? I don't think Russia will commit such a Himalayan blunder.
Jabbar Ghilzai (Islamabad)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021