By Hekmatullah Azamy
Located at the crossroads of Central, South and Southwest Asia, Afghanistan has a geostrategic importance for economic integration and stability in the broader region. Its location can be an asset or a liability for the country itself and its immediate and regional neighbors. Decades of insecurity in Afghanistan have turned the country into a liability in the region. Permanent violence in Afghanistan has invited transnational militants including Central Asians and Russians to seek safe sanctuaries in the country and use it as a launch-pad for their operations across the greater region. These foreign Jihadists have entrenched presence in Afghanistan and developed stronger relations with local militants. They do not only pose a security threat to Afghanistan and their home countries, but in particular Central Asian militants also facilitate drug trade that originates from Afghanistan and “successfully” crosses Central Asia reaching all the way to Russia and Europe.
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