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Majlis Podcast: Uzbekistan Walks The Tightrope In Its Policies Toward Afghanistan


Evacuees from Afghanistan leave a German Air Force plane in Tashkent on August 26.

Uzbekistan might have the best lines of communication with the Taliban of any Central Asian state.

But Tashkent is now facing problems after the Taliban requested the return of 585 Afghan government military personnel along with more than 40 warplanes and helicopters that crossed the border into Uzbekistan in mid-August.

Uzbek authorities have reportedly been speaking with other countries about taking the Afghan soldiers.

And Uzbek authorities are also contending with small numbers of Afghans who continue to try to escape from Taliban rule and flee into Uzbekistan. Uzbek authorities are turning the Afghans back at the border, a move that some countries and international organizations are criticizing.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion that looks at how Uzbekistan’s government is dealing with the Afghan spillover since the Taliban seized control over most of the country in mid-August.

This week’s guests are, from Britain, Shahida Tulaganova, a documentary filmmaker who has been working to get journalists out of Afghanistan; also from Britain, Alisher Ilkhamov, the Eurasia program officer at the Open Society Foundations; from Prague, Alisher Sidiq, director of RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service, known locally as Ozodlik; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Uzbekistan Walks The Tightrope In Its Policies Toward Afghanistan
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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