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The Tajikistan Update - News Section


 The Tajikistan Update 

Dostum's Involvement in Recent Disturbances

November 19, 1998

by Najam Abbas Ph.D (, observer of developments in Central Asia

Information made public at Tajik parliament's session on November 12 pointed out towards collaboration betweenUzbek security personnel and former Afghan army Commander of Uzbek ethnicity General Abdurrashid Dostum. The following facts are taken from the presentation made by Tajikistan;s Security Minister before the Parliament on November 12 in Dushanbe. During the past two years each time Khudaiberdiev and his armed bands strike on Tajikistan's economic military interests, they crossed over the border into their hideouts in the Uzbek territory enjoying support from that side. His men were provided a military trainer who is an Afghan national and an ardent supporter of former General Dostum. These people received military training in the Afghan province of Jozjan for 7-8 months from August 1997 to April 1998. Following that the bands crossed the Hairatan bridge into the Uzbek territory and were engaged in further exercises in Samarkand oblast. All these activities directly concerned the security interests of the country. Tajikistan's Interior Ministry approached their Uzbek counterparts several times to take notice of the disturbing activities. The Uzbek authorities however, rejected the claims that Khudaiberdiev and his men were present on the Uzbek territory.

One may draw the following facts from what has been reported above.
1. During the eight months between August 1997 and April 1998, armed bands from two Central Asian states used the Afghan territory to train their personnel with the purpose of utilizing this training for taking over certain Central Asian cities in Leninabad District of Tajikistan by force.
2. With the onslaught of the Taliban towards north, General Abdurrashid Dostum had to discontinue with his training programs, abandon Jozjan following which the Central Asian bands crossed the Hairatan bridge where further training was arranged for these men in Samarkand oblast of Uzbekistan.
3. Doesn't this imply that the Taleban's takeover of provinces bordering Central Asian republics proved a blessing in disguise as it brought to an end organized attempts by one Central Asian state for destabilizing peace in a neighbourly state.
4. In over three months since Taleban's takeover of Mazar and other northern provinces Aghanistan's borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have been more or less peaceful. Their have been no reports of border violations, or crossing over of borders by individuals from Afghanistan's ethnic minorities. There are nevertheless attempts by drug smugglers and arms dealers who divulge in criminal activities irrespective of any ethnic, territorial or political affiliations.

Published at the Tajikistan Update on November 19, 1998