Of Central Asian countries, Tajikistan is particularly vulnerable for attacks by Afghan militants: expert

Of Central Asian countries, Tajikistan is particularly vulnerable for attacks by Afghan militants: expert

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

Of the Central Asian countries, Tajikistan is particularly vulnerable for attacks by Afghan militants, said American expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier.

"I do think one Central Asian state in particular is threatened by the Taliban moving in northeastern Afghanistan and that would be Tajikistan," Pannier, expert at Liberty Radio, wrote to Trend in an e-mail.

The press increasingly began to report on the revitalization of the militias in Afghanistan, by which certain countries of Central Asia are concerned.

According to the expert, Tajikistan is particularly vulnerable for the terrorist threat. Pannier believes that militiants infiltration into the country and the possibility of hiding in its territory indicates there are serious holes in the security network in eastern Tajikistan.

"That is not surprising since narcotic trafficking has been increasing through Tajikistan every year and the same routes the drug traffickers use can be used by militants," the expert said.

According to him, there are reports that the militants are in fact often also the narcotics traffickers using the rugged mountains to their advantage to sneak in and out of Tajikistan.

Tajik forces had a hard time fighting in this area during the civil war so it would not be easy for Tajik forces to repel a concerted effort by militants to cause trouble, the expert said.

"Would Russian or NATO forces join it if there was a serious threat in Tajikistan? I cannot say," Pannier said.

The possibility does exist that these militants could sabotage supply routes, the expert said.

According to the expert, that would be the most effective means to disrupt NATO efforts in Afghanistan.

"The militants could not hold out long against the firepower Tajik forces, Russian forces or NATO forces could bring to bear on them but they could plants roadside bombs and stage suicide bombings along routes leading from Tajikistan into Afghanistan," Pannier said.

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