Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan politician, former mujahideen leader and drug trafficker, has stated that Tajikistan, by providing asylum to the Afghan opposition, has declared war against Afghanistan.

“You, sheltering the Afghan armed opposition in your country, do you know what does it mean? It is nothing but declaration of war to Afghanistan (Taliban regime – editor's note),” Hekmatyar stated.  

According to him, “the republic thereby helps the armed opponents of the neighboring country.” 

“They have bases at their disposal, where they are trained and armed. Unfortunately, Dushanbe shamelessly states that it supports them (opposition -- editor's note) and wants them to get at least 40% of seats in the government.   Of course, this means declaration of war against Afghanistan,” Hekmatyar noted.  

According to him, as a result of this “ hostile unilateral, baseless policy of Tajikistan, Afghanistan will be forced to provide asylum to the Tajik armed opposition.”

“What will be the fate of the weak and small Tajikistan if this happens?  If 2,000 or 3,000 people get asylum in our country, this will create certain problems for Dushanbe.  Why did you choose the path of enmity?  You will not get any benefit from friendship with America.  I hope you choose the right path,” Hekmatyar warns. 

According to data from UNHCR Office, 6,500 refugees and asylum-seekers have been registered in Tajikistan as of the end of 2020.   From January to August 2021, until the suspension of international flights to Afghanistan, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers has doubled in Tajikistan.  

Meanwhile, citing security sources in Tajikistan and northeastern Afghanistan, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service reported on October 4 last year that the Taliban has provided Tajik militants based along the border with Tajikistan with new military vehicles, weaponry, and other equipment over the past two weeks.

According to an official with Tajikistan’s state border services, Tajik militants based in Afghanistan’s northern province of Badakhshan have reportedly been seen with U.S.-made weaponry and vehicles, including Humvees, with some of them wearing American combat gear.

Tajik and Afghan sources noted in October last year that at least 200 militants from Tajikistan are currently based along the border of the two countries.

Known in Afghanistan as the Tajik Taliban, the militants from Tajikistan are members of the Jamaat Ansarullah group, which was established by Tajik nationals a decade ago with the goal of overthrowing the secular government in Dushanbe.

In June last year, Tajik officials raised concern that one of the banned group’s commanders -- Muhammad Sharifov (aka Mahdi Arsalon) had been put in charge of security in five border districts in Badakhshan after they were seized by the Taliban.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (born August 1, 1949) is an Afghan politician, former mujahideen leader and drug trafficker.  He is the founder and current leader of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin political party.

Following the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, on August 17, 2021, Hekmatyar met with both Hamid Karzai, former President of Afghanistan, and Abdullah Abdullah, former Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation and former Chief Executive, in Doha seeking to form a government.  Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his organization are reported to have joined the Council of Reconciliation formed by the Taliban.

A highly controversial commander, Hekmatyar has been dubbed the "Butcher of Kabul", accused of being responsible for the destruction and civilian deaths Kabul experienced in the early 1990s