Afghanistan border with Tajikistan in Taliban's full control

TEHRAN, Jul. 12 (MNA) – Tajik media says that Afghanistan's shared borders with Tajikistan have now completely fallen to the Taliban, while trade continues at shared border crossing under the armed group.

A report by Asia Plustj has cited an article entitled "What Does the Taliban’s Ascendancy Mean for Tajikistan? published on Eurasianet as saying that On June 22, the Taliban militants captured the Sher Khan Bandar crossing into Tajikistan, a location around 60 kilometers north of the Afghan city of Kunduz. 

According to the article, the 1,357-kilometer Afghan-Tajik border is bridged by six crossings in total – five of them are able to support automobile traffic.

It also said that the Taliban are using the bridge to levy informal customs fees and fund their own operations.  The capture of the Sher Khan Bandar crossing reportedly saw the first mass flight of defeated Afghan troops into Tajikistan. 

Between COVID-19 and the unrest, ordinary travel across the border has long since been suspended. Officially, the borders are shut, and the Afghan Embassy is on paper no longer issuing visas.  Anonymous sources, however, told Eurasianet that they have still been able to get visas through illicit channels and to cross at Sher Khan Bandar.

It is truckers who are mainly still crossing the border. Tajik truckers are mostly only going as far as Sher Khan Bandar, to drop off or pick up goods, although nobody is explicitly forbidding them from going further.

Meanwhile, Eurasianet said the Tajik authorities are not making any comment on the situation.  Tajik security services are reportedly assumed to be in deep, covert dialogue with all kinds of elements inside Afghanistan.

The Taliban are no longer spoken about in Tajik state-run media with complete disdain.

Although the Taliban is legally recognized as an extremist organization, Tajikistan's State Committee for National Security (SCNS) has quietly dispensed with this descriptor in recent times, opting for the more neutral term “armed group.”

The compliments are mutual. The Taliban last week reassured Dushanbe that it would respect Tajik sovereignty and that it intended no harm.


News Code 176017


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