As the Taliban tries to solidify its hold over Afghanistan and convince the outside world that it should be recognized as the legitimate government of the country, the one state that has steadfastly expressed its dissatisfaction at the change in government there is neighboring Tajikistan.
Comments from Tajik President Emomali Rahmon about the need for inclusiveness in the Taliban’s government were ill-received in Kabul, where representatives of the militant group suggested the Tajik leader would do better to refrain from commenting on Afghanistan.
Tajikistan has moved extra forces up to the Afghan border and the Tajik president paid a visit to a border area to watch a military parade. The Taliban has brought up extra forces to the border with Tajikistan, including Tajik citizens who are members of extremist groups in Afghanistan and whom the Taliban recently armed with captured U.S. military weapons and equipment.
Russia has called for calm, and others are urging Tajikistan and Afghanistan to lower tensions.
On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on the escalation along the Tajik-Afghan border and where it might lead.
This week's guests are: from Newport, Rhode Island, Suzanne Levi-Sanchez, an associate professor at the U.S. Naval War College and author of the upcoming book Bridging State And Civil Society: Informal Organizations In Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan; from Washington, Melanie Sadozai, a PhD candidate at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Paris and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, who recently conducted research along the Tajik-Afghan border; from Prague, Salimjon Aioub, the director of RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, known locally as Ozodi; and Bruce Pannier, the author of the Qishloq Ovozi blog.