Afghani Break

Afghani Break

By Vestnik Kavkaza

Iran threatens Pakistan and Afghanistan with military entrance. Troops could be deployed to save five injured Iranian border guards, media reports said yesterday, citing the interior minister of Iran. Last week the soldiers were kidnapped by previously unknown group Jaish al Adl. According to the minister, Tehran has already addressed Islamabad and Kabul to deal with the situation; in other case he reserves a right to deploy troops to the neighboring territory and establish a safe zone there, which would secure Iranian citizens from foreign threats.

Stirring up tension in the region looks dreadful in the context of the USA’s intention to withdraw troops of the coalition from Afghanistan this year.

Andrei Kazantsev, Director of MGIMO Analysis Center, thinks that “the situation in the security sphere in North Afghanistan is especially important for Russia. Alarmist scenarios on a direct attack of Taliban on the north of Afghanistan are nonrealistic, but many Central Asian states, neighbors of Afghanistan, are fragile, i.e. they are close to the level of failed states.”

Kazantsev fears further destabilization in Afghanistan and an intensification of drug trafficking: “Russia, which consumes the majority of heroin coming from the northern route, is market number one and is still the biggest consumer of Afghan heroin. A serious bond between development of drug trafficking and development of Islamic extremism and its financing is obvious.”

Moreover, “today Russia is the second state after the USA for the number of migrants. The majority of migrants who come to Russia are from countries of Central Asia, including states of fragility neighboring Afghanistan – Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan now takes the first place in the world for the volume of remissions, transfers from working migrants to GDP of a country. Kyrgyzstan takes the second place in the world. Uzbekistan takes the first place for the absolute number of migrants sent to Russia, as it is a large state. Therefore, there is a complicated bond, from the point of view of our national interests, between possible destabilization in neighboring Afghanistan and uncontrollable waves of migration. Fights in Afghanistan will force the Tajiks to return to Tajikistan, the Uzbeks to return to Uzbekistan; and later these waves could reach us,” Kazantsev thinks.

As for Pakistan, according Vladimir Sotnikov, a senior scientist of the Middle East Department of the Oriental Sciences Institute of the RAS, it is in a difficult situation at the moment: “Pakistan will face a serious problem of terrorism in the country, as foreign militants, they can be called Talibs, or other movements will join the Pakistani movement of Taliban and other terrorist groups which act in Pakistan. The situation in the security sphere of Pakistan will become worse. So, it is a headache for Pakistan, if the situation in Afghani security sphere gets negative development. The situation will worsen radically. And these 15 000 American soldiers, if they stay, and some contingent of NATO, which intends to provide imitation of security together with the Americans, won’t do anything with it.”