A border unit based in Khatlon’s Shamsiddin-Shohin district has been deployed closer to the Afghan border, at a distance of 12 kilometers from the Tajik-Afghan border.   

Shamsiddin-Shohin district head Zafar Gulzoda confirmed this information at a news conference in the district administrative center on July 29.  

He stated that the decision to deploy to border closer to the Afghan border will allow strengthening control of the border.  

It is to be noted that infrastructure of the border unit in the new place of deployment was commissioned in May this year and President Emomali Rahmon participated in the official opening ceremony of the border unit.  

The 145-kilometer stretch of the Tajik-Afghan border in Khatlon’s Shamsiddin-Shohin district is the most vulnerable part of Tajikistan’s common border with Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, citing a source in Takhar province, Hasht-e Subh, an independent and nonprofit newspaper in Afghanistan, said on August 2 that one of Taliban’s commanders has warned Tajikistan that “if it does not stop interfering in internal affairs of Afghanistan, their troops can seize Tajikistan in a week.”  

Mullah Janmuhammad Hamza, the deputy commander of the 217th Omari Corps, reportedly stated this in the presence of the Minister of Propaganda of Virtue and Prevention of Vices, who was on a visit to Takhar province.

The 217 Omari Corps is one of the eight corps of the Islamic Emirate Army established in October 2021 and headquartered in Kunduz.  The corps includes Kunduz brigade, Baghlan brigade, Takhar brigade and Badakhshan brigade.

The Taliban has brought back the 'Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice' in Afghanistan, which was abolished during the US-led military occupation in the country. Its return sent a collective shudder through many Afghans, who remembered it for its strict interpretation of Islamic law. 

Recall, in a statement delivered at the Fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia at the Kyrgyz resort town of Cholpon-Ata, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon noted on July 21 that the situation in Afghanistan tends to worsen further. 

Tajik leader noted that developments in Afghanistan may have a negative impact not only on Central Asia, but they may lead to changes in the geopolitical balance and forces throughout the Eurasian continent. 

According to him, since they returned to power in Afghanistan, “The Taliban authorities have not taken steps to convince the world community and the population of Afghanistan of the legitimacy of their power, ability to control the situation in the country, provide security of citizens and solve emerging social-and-economic issues.” 

“On the contrary, despite their promises and assurances, the Taliban opposes the creation of a government with broad participation of all political and ethnic forces,” Rahmon said.  

In his opinion, the Taliban administration in its current form is not able to solve the problems of governing the country.  “Meanwhile, the Taliban pursue an aggressive policy of discrimination against various ethnic groups and rigid religious conservatism,” Tajik leader said.  

While the international community has adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude toward the Afghan Taliban, Tajikistan has taken a sharply critical view.  Rhetoric between Tajikistan and the Taliban is increasingly bitter, a symptom of a broader problem in their bilateral ties.  Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon has condemned the Taliban regime in Kabul for failing to form an inclusive government and for violating human rights in the Panjshir Valley.  The Taliban have responded by warning Tajikistan not to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.