Staunton, Mar. 13 – In recent months, the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast has been the most troubled region in Tajikistan, and Dushanbe is now worried that unrest there will spread to other parts of the country and complicate leadership succession or be exploited by China to subordinate the entire country to Beijing, Galiya Ibragimova says.
The widely-published researcher on Central Asian issues argues that this explains why Dushanbe has worked so hard not only to reduce the autonomy of the Gorno-Badakhshan but to isolate the region, efforts that have blown up in its face because Pamiris outside their homeland have spread internationally (fergana.agency/articles/125430/).
Many Pamiris see what Dushanbe is doing as an effort to deprive their region of what autonomy it has left and thus are inclined to come out to protest small things which they see as harbingers of this larger Dushanbe goal; and Dushanbe in turn sees their actions as reflecting Chinese involvement there, something some fear will cost Tajikistan is effective independence.
These twin worries, Ibragimova argues, have now become intertwined with two others: the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan with its potential to increase the flow of terrorism into Tajikistan an the possibility that the Gorno-Badakhshan will be the trigger for Kazakhstan-like protests as the Tajik leadership moves into a period of generational succession.
For background on the Badakhshan situation, see jamestown.org/program/moscow-and-kabul-beef-up-forces-on-tajikistans-border-as-badakhshan-deteriorates-again/, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/01/new-chinese-base-in-tajikistan-will.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/01/gorno-badakhshan-chaos-most-serious.html.