CIS, Tajikistan need to counter Taliban threat
by Najam Abbas Ph.D (email@example.com), observer of developments in Central Asia
The Business-e-Politika, Dushanbe issue for 10-17th March contained an article written by Senior Lietenant Rustamov entitled "In response to the Taliban's threat, there is a need to conduct an anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan." The article highlighted the need for the CIS states to take strong measures against the Taliban government of Afghanistan in light of its support of the rebellious Chechen government and connections with the drug trade. The following is a summary written by Najam Abbas of the issues outlined in the article:
Restoring constitutional order only in Chechnya will not solve the whole problem. The threat of global
terrorism's expansion still looms large from elsewhere. Pacifying this region without liquidating the major centers for training global terrorists spread on the Afghan territory will hardly serve the purpose. There is a need to form a powerful anti-terrorist block comprising of Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that will serve as an anti-Taliban coalition.
This coalition should launch an operation
with three objectives:
1. To strip the Taliban from their dominating position in the country
2. Annihilate the centers for training global terrorism
3. To strike a deadly blow against the drug
After some time, a follow-up surgical operation should be conducted to eliminate any bases, warehouses and drug producing plants that may have resurfaced after the first operation. The article goes further to raise the question as to why biological weapons are not devised to exterminate the drug plantation to the roots.
The article underlines statement by President Rakhmonov of Tajikistan calling to establish a collective security ring all along the Afghan borders.
The article suggests that if the CIS countries are interested to ensure peace along the Afghan border then they must take the responsibility for the sustenance of 2-3 million border population provided they guarantee that they will not grow narcotic plants and will not allow drug smugglers to pass through their territory. This will serve as a multi-layer filter against any incursions by drug smugglers and extremists.
Russia must take an initiative to conclusively deal with these problems. If immediate measures are not taken to circumvent drugs' expansion, then 10-15 years later it will take far greater efforts than today's localized military operation.
There is a need for a comprehensive and collective approach towards a military solution including all extreme measures to settle such issues aimed at:
defending the territorial integrity, and, countering all attempts of the expansion of religious extremism, global terrorism and drug cartels.
The article concludes with the advice that it is necessary to give a quick, decisive and strong response
to the challenge thrown by the Taleban who have accorded diplomatic recognition to the republic of Ichkeria (Chechnya).
Published at the Tajikistan Update on March 15, 2000