Sherefovic Hakimov fought alongside Communist Soviet forces against Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s, but his life changed fundamentally after becoming a prisoner of war.
Kabul is hesitant to antagonise the “Pakistani Taliban” lest it supports the self-styled caliphate, yet the same group poses a threat to Islamabad.
From Syria to Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan, the most corrupt states are also torn apart by political conflicts, showing the strong connection between the two.
The year 1979 is a turning point in the history of the region, as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Islamic revolution in Iran and ‘Seige of Mecca’ laid the groundwork for the rise and victory of the Taliban over forty years later.
US presence in Central Asia will likely deplete further after the Afghanistan withdrawal with Russia and China waiting to sweep up the remains.
Afghanistan, often referred to as the ‘graveyard of the empires’, is often written about but is constantly misunderstood, and the same goes for the Taliban.
The Czech Republic is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion in Czechoslovakia in 1968.
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