Central Asian states are facing a grave threat to their security from drug trafficking in recent years. Geo-strategic location, unstable socio-political situation, and emergence of radical parties are providing the leitmotif to the proliferation of illegal trade in this region. In some cases, there appears a linkage between drug trafficking and rebel movements on the one hand and the law enforcement authorities on the other. The problem requires adoption of a multi-pronged approach on part of the state authorities of these countries in combating the menace. Civil society organizations can also play an important role in this regard in raising the aware-ness of people regarding the negative consequences of drug use and trade. What may be useful is a firm commitment on the part of political elite in meeting the challenges emanating from drug trafficking. Augmenting the existing regional cooperative arrangements like CSTO, SCO and CACO is also necessary.
The ‘sustainable peace’ is eluding Afghanistan over centuries. This can largely be attributed to both external geopolitical factors as well as the internal domestic realignments. Often these two factors operate in isolation and at times collude with each other, thus accentuating both domestic and regional instability. The fallout of protracted conflict in Afghanistan in the last few decades has resulted in the emergence of weak governance structure along with the proliferation of radicalism and the flow of narcotics to the neighbouring regions. Eurasia is one such region which has largely been affected by the developments in Afghanistan. The Eurasian states’ engagement with Afghanistan can be looked both through the prism of geopolitical developments that took place in the region following the collapse of the Soviet Union and post-9/11 developments which resulted in the intervention of external actors. The present geopolitical imbroglio is largely emanating from the decision of the United States to leave Afghanistan and the Russian’s desire to fill the vacuum. Iran and China are also engaged in shaping the geopolitical dynamics of this trouble-torn state. India, on the other hand, perceives security and stability of Afghanistan are important for greater regional economic cooperation which will facilitate its effective engagement in Eurasia.
Migration is emerging as an important source of threat to the peace and security of Central Asia. This is happening, notwithstanding the fact that this region is receiving substantial amount of external remittance. Apart from lack of economic opportunities, existence of blurred boundaries, emergence of authoritarian regimes with a tilt towards strong ‘ethnic state’ as well as the alienation of substantial number of population are contributing to the process of flow of illegal migration. This results in loss of young population, growing ethno-nationalistic conflict, spurt in religious terrorism, proliferation of narco-trafficking as well as HIV/AIDS in this region. These above-mentioned threats are generating a lot of ‘insecurity’ in Central Asia. The best way to meet the challenges posed by migration is to ensure ‘sustainable security’ in this region by adopting a broader approach ranging from cooperation among the states of this region so also to ensure human security at the ground level.
The article attempts to examine the nature of interaction that exists among India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (IATU) and the need to give an institutional basis to such a relationship spanning across Central and South Asia. Using some of the existing theoretical frameworks of regional cooperation, the study argues that even though such an institutional relationship looks futuristic, it has much relevance in the present context due to its functional necessity. Some of the factors such as a ‘common geo-culture’, ‘geo-strategic compulsions’, and ‘economic necessities’ are providing the basis for the emergence of such kind of cooperation among these four states.
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