Expert: extremism threat increase in Central Asia not related to NATO troops withdrawal from Afghanistan

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 2 / Trend V.Zhavoronkova /

The increased of the extremism threat in the Central Asian region is not directly connected to the withdrawal of the anti-terrorist coalition troops from Afghanistan, Russian expert on Central Asia Alexander Knyazev believes.

NATO coalition in Afghanistan, conducting an anti-terrorist operation there should withdraw its troops from the country in 2014. This fact raises the observers' concerns that it could lead to an increase of the terrorism threat emanating from Afghanistan.

According to the expert, these fears are ungrounded.

"This threat is not directly related to the coalition troops withdrawal from Afghanistan," Coordinator of the regional programs of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Knyazev told Trend.

It depends largely on the region countries' policies on how far these policies will be convenient for those who control these extremist groups, whether these threats will be implemented or not, he said.

According to the expert, the indigenous population of the country never threatened Central Asian countries and never pretended to create a military threat to the region.

"But the territory controlled by them, which is most of the territory of Afghanistan, also hosts groups of international character," Knyazev said.

These groups, according to him, create a threat for the region.

"In order to prevent these threats, it is first of all necessary to intensify the activity of anti-terror structures in the region," the expert said.

According to him, this issue requires a very subtle strategy of the governments of the region's countries.

"The task is to to find a compromise with those parties that control the extremist groups in Afghanistan without prejudice to own national interests," the expert said.

According to Knyazev, the weakest countries in the region in the issue of combating the threat of extremism are Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan because of their state institutions' weakness, poor economic situation and domestic protest potential.

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