DUSHANBE, October 8, 2001, Asia-Plus  -- Tajik border guards that do not have enough transport means and equipment cannot provide adequate control of Tajik-Afghan border, Tajik political scientist Abdughani Mamadazimov said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

“Of course, we need international assistance, but it will help only partially, because it is impossible to control mountain stretches of the border all the year round without special equipment,” noted the expert, “The satellite surveillance is needed, while Tajikistan does not have such means, unless Russia agrees to connect our country to the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).  But it is impossible.”

According to him, following increasing NATO forces’ pressure on Taliban in Afghanistan and southern Pakistan supporters of the former Tajik United Opposition that had joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), A-Qaeda and the Taliban movement in Afghanistan may infiltrate into Tajikistan.

“I think we will not be able to fully control the common border with Afghanistan even despite of the considerable assistance provided by the European Union, the United States and Russia, because two-thirds of the Tajik-Afghan border run across the mountain areas,” Mamadazimov stressed.

In his opinion, it is necessary to revive the Soviet model of involvement of civilians living in border areas in border control, when residents of the border villages were helping border guards.  “For this, it is necessary to carry out explanatory work among the population of border areas,” the expert added.