Professor Iskandarov: Taliban, Who Have Absolute Power in Afghanistan, Can Become a New Bridgehead for Terrorism in the World
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“I am convinced that the Taliban’s lightning-fast takeover of Kabul is inspiring terrorist groups elsewhere to escalate their jihadist campaigns,” noted Chief Scientific Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Chairman of the Society for Friendship and Cultural Relations of Tajikistan and Afghanistan, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Kosimsho Iskandarov in an interview with Khovar Director Saidali Siddik.
According to him, the international community, major powers, neighboring countries fear precisely that Afghanistan will once again turn into a safe haven for international terrorists.
“Based on this, American leaders believe that after a while ISIS* from Afghanistan may threaten the US security. This opinion also exists with regard to Al-Qaeda*,” Iskandarov added.
He noted that the Taliban* have been saying what they want to hear from them for more than two years in the course of meetings and negotiations.
“They promise to resist drug smuggling, not to violate the borders of Central Asian states, etc. But everyone knows that 90% of drugs were grown in the territories controlled by the Taliban*,” he mentioned.
Iskandarov wonders why didn’t they put up a barrier to this? Moreover, the report of the UN Security Council mission in Afghanistan dated January 12-15, 2018 reported that in 2017 the Taliban* received from $ 400 million through $ 500 million from the drug trade. At present, the entire territory of Afghanistan, including the external borders, is controlled by the Taliban*, but drug smuggling continues.
Iskandarov believes that, perhaps, due to their lack of opportunities and resources, in the short term the Taliban themselves will not try to interfere in the affairs of other countries.
“But, as you know, there are many other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan that intend to create problems for neighboring countries, and the Taliban* is not going to put a barrier in their way, on the contrary, it supports them. On the other hand, within the ranks of the Taliban* there are enough fanatical militants or jihadists who consider jihad mandatory for a Muslim, there is no guarantee that as long as there is an Islamic Emirate regime with a jihadist ideology in Afghanistan, neighboring countries will feel safe. Another issue is ideological influence,” he emphasized.
According to Iskandarov, there are many people in Central Asia who rejoiced at the victory of the Taliban. The existence of such a regime inspires Islamists, the so-called «sleeping cells» in the Central Asian countries. If the Taliban* won a victory, and other countries will reckon and cooperate with him, then other groups can count on it.
“Many terrorist organizations have operated and are operating in Afghanistan. These are Al-Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, Ansarullah, Lashkari Tayyiba, Islamic Jihad Union, ISIS Khorasan, Katibat al Imam Bukhari. According to the UN and other agencies, there is no sign or evidence that the Taliban have severed ties with these organizations so far. Foreign terrorists took part in the last battles in Panjshir,” Chief Scientific Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences mentioned.
Iskandarov notes that he would have qualified the difference between them somewhat differently. The Taliban are, first of all, Afghans, among whom Pashtuns dominate, who claim the revival of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan. And the ISIS-Khorasan* are also mostly Pashtuns, but their goal is more global — the creation of a world caliphate. This is the only thing that fundamentally distinguishes them. And in terms of ruthlessness, there is no difference between the two.
Iskandarov considers that the Taliban are still promising not to fight for the caliphate outside Afghanistan. But as soon as they are officially recognized by the UN and other countries at the diplomatic level, when they feel strength and support, the situation may change.
According to him, in the meantime, the Taliban will operate within Afghanistan, will continue to destroy morally and physically representatives of other ethnic groups, terrify those who are accustomed to living in a civilized, free, without fundamentalism. After all, it is difficult for the Taliban to subjugate the country to their will without resorting to constant violence, we saw how young people and women went to protest rallies against them in Kabul, Herat and other cities. Will continue to trample on women’s rights.
Source: National information agency of Tajikistan