The Jamestown Foundation article says that as tensions rise in Central Asia, Tajikistan finds itself at the forefront of growing concerns regarding the stability of the region. The country, led by President Emomali Rahmon, is increasingly alarmed by the threats posed by militant groups operating from neighboring Afghanistan, now under Taliban control.  Among these groups, Jamaat Ansarullo (JA) has been identified as a particularly significant threat to Tajikistan’s national security.

The Jamestown Foundation article noted on October 31 that operating from the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan, JA, also known as the “Tajik Taliban,” has been increasingly focused on Dushanbe in recent months.  On September 15, a JA militant reportedly appeared in a video calling for his Tajik countrymen to take up arms against the government and to not fear being accused of terrorism.  The video also called Afghanistan a “country where the mujahedeen govern,” highlighting the group’s affinity for the Taliban government.

This reportedly came after JA’s attempted crossing at the Afghan border in the Darvoz district of Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, or GBAO, on September 4 that resulted in the deaths of three militants, as well as the seizure of a cache of weapons, ammunition, and explosives.

The issue of security threats emanating from Afghanistan, including drug trafficking and militancy, was reportedly a key topic addressed by President Rahmon at the fifth Summit of Central Asian States.  The summit provided a platform for Tajikistan to voice its apprehensions and seek support from other nations in the region.

Tajikistan’s relationship with the Taliban has been strained, prompting the country to look beyond its immediate neighbor for assistance in countering the emerging threats.  In pursuit of a more secure environment, Tajikistan is actively seeking to forge stronger ties with major regional powers such as Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan.  These countries are viewed as potential allies capable of collaborating on security measures to mitigate the risks posed by the militant groups based in Afghanistan.