DUSHANBE: Tajikistan said on Wednesday that almost 350 refugees from Afghanistan had crossed into the Central Asian country, fleeing sweeping gains by Taliban as foreign forces withdraw.

Border guards in the ex-Soviet country said those feeling included 177 minors, and that two babies had died during the journey to the mountainous and impoverished country.

The Taliban’s offensive has seen a stream of Afghans make their way across the border and earlier this month more than 1,000 government troops fled to Tajikistan after the fighters seized a border crossing between the countries.

The militants in recent weeks have brought huge swathes of Afghanistan under their control as foreign troops withdraw, including the county’s main Shir Khan Bandar border crossing with Tajikistan.

The border guards said the refugees who arrived over the last two days included some 64 boys and 113 girls. They had crossed from Badakhshan province, bringing with them herds of livestock.

Moscow, an important power broker in the region, was closely watching the offensive, concerned about the security of countries in ex-Soviet Central Asia where it maintains military bases.

On Wednesday, about 1,000 troops at Russia’s military base in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe took part in drills.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2021

Opinion

Justice for judges
Updated 30 Jul 2021

Justice for judges

It beggars belief that a senior high court judge is incompetent to serve in the Supreme Court.
Follow the child
30 Jul 2021

Follow the child

Observe the child and give her space to explore her own instincts.
Cost of neoliberalism
30 Jul 2021

Cost of neoliberalism

Our mental health crisis must be seen in the larger sociopolitical context.

Editorial

30 Jul 2021

Judge’s elevation

A CONTROVERSY roiling the legal fraternity for a few weeks has come to a head. It was precipitated by the Judicial...
PTI’s Sialkot win
30 Jul 2021

PTI’s Sialkot win

The PML-N’s internal duality is a particularly acute factor that is dragging down the party in electoral contests.
30 Jul 2021

Attack on Chinese

AN attack targeting two Chinese nationals in Karachi on Wednesday should put the security apparatus on alert in ...
29 Jul 2021

Saudi FM’s visit

THE Saudi-Pakistan relationship is decades old and has weathered a number of geopolitical storms. Of late, ties came...
29 Jul 2021

SBP’s high hopes

THE June spike in the current account deficit notwithstanding, the State Bank doesn’t look too worried about the...
Joy and sadness on K2
Updated 29 Jul 2021

Joy and sadness on K2

Pakistan’s mountains have a commercial value that remains untapped.