What's the current situation in Khorog?

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gedigedi
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What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby gedigedi » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:53 pm

Hi,

I and my girlfriend are planning driving Pamir Highway this August, renting a car from Osh driving to Khorog and back to Osh.

My girlfriend is quite spooked about the news she found on the internet:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tajikistan
"During April/May 2017 there were clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces in north-east Afghanistan close to the border with Tajikistan. Check local advice before travelling to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) as the area may be closed to visitors at short notice."

http://central.asia-news.com/en_GB/arti ... feature-01
"The markets in Khorugh/Khorog and Ishkashim are shut down..."

http://www.topix.com/af/khorog/2017/05/ ... han-border

What is the situation now in Khorog?

Thank you
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lissie45
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby lissie45 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:22 pm

If there is a real problem Tajikistan will stop issuing the GABO permit asap - they have a lot more to lose than you have! The Foreign Office has explicit info - but all western government travel sites have had the area as "high" risk for as long as I've been researching our trip - about 12 months.

You have to use your judgement - I personally wouldn't cross the border- but Khorog is a pretty big Tajik city - I can't see Talaban fighters being able to cross and cause trouble there without being shot in fairly short order.

We're going in late Aug/Sept - what's happening now is fairly irrelevant to what will be happening in a couple of months time
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bwv812
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby bwv812 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:35 am

Khorog definitely isn't a big city and I wouldn't be so sure about how effective the central government would be to a Taliban attack—the government had it's hands full with the locals when they cracked down on them in 2012, and the locals are no Taliban (it's worth noting that many tourists were stranded in Khorog for about a week during that violence, and it was unsafe for them—or any male—to even leave their guesthouses during that period). Of course if the Taliban did threaten to attack (which strikes me as unlikely), I think the much more professional Russians troops stationed in Tajikistan would likely be deployed.
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cristiano
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby cristiano » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:30 pm

From what I'm hearing from friends who crossed there in the last few weeks, everything is fine and normal in Khorog.
The markets on the Afghan borders can be closed, but this happens almost every year for different issues.
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TomasS
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby TomasS » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:17 am

Taliban seized district just 15 km from tajik borders on the begining of may, some wounded soldiers were taken to the hospital in Khorogh, it was possible to hear shooting there. But later Afghan government forces managed to push Taliban back from these district.

Moreover,Taliban announced, it has no interest to fight with other country- questionable whether believe. But Russia strenghtened military presence in region, they are really worried of spreading islamism so i think they would do everything possible to stop Taliban on the borders. And Taliban knows it. Tajik army is just for fun:)

I will be in Khorogh and Wakhan during next weeks, so then i can write real experience.
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby bwv812 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:00 am

Here's a relevant excerpt from a just-published report on the security situation in states bordering Afghanistan (https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghanist ... -neighbors):

THE BORDER WITH TAJIKISTAN
(NORTHEASTERN AFGHANISTAN)


The situation in the Badakhshan region is extremely dangerous. In recent years, two of its districts, Wurduj and Jurm, have been almost completely controlled by AGEs, which also hold considerable territories in other districts. Remote and mountainous, Badakhshan has become a base for AGEs operating in other provinces of Afghanistan. Badakhshan has also become an important “revenue source” for AGEs. There is constant fighting in the Raghistan District, known for its gold- and gem-mining fields. There are also drug laboratories in the province that are practically out of reach of ANDSF and that finance AGEs. Drugs from these laboratories are smuggled through Tajikistan, with these smuggling operations sometimes provoking clashes on the Tajik-Afghan border.

In Takhar, AGEs hold strong positions in the Ishkashim, Yangi Qala, Darkard, and Khwaja Ghar Districts. For several months in late 2015, fighting between ANDSF and AGEs was particularly intense in three of Takhar’s districts near the border with Tajikistan—Yangi Qala, Khwaja Ghar, and Darkard. Only in the early months of 2016 was ANDSF able to push AGEs out of the Afghan- Tajik border areas. As usual, AGEs retreated, choosing to conserve their strength for future confrontations.

Most of Kunduz Province is controlled by the Taliban and other AGE groups. The Taliban held the city of Kunduz from September 28, 2015, until October 13, 2015, when ANDSF (with support from foreign troops) forced them into an organized retreat. Their presence in Kunduz city was notable because it was the first time since 2001 that the Taliban was able to seize a provincial capital. The seizure of Kunduz was a clear demonstration of force by AGEs, and the operation allowed them to seize a large amount of weapons, including heavy weaponry. Throughout 2016, ANDSF retained full control of only the central part of the city. In September 2016 AGEs once again attacked Kunduz and retook control, albeit only briefly. Beyond the provincial capital the situation remains volatile in the rest of the province. AGE has heavy influence in all districts of Kunduz.

Tajikistan had been reporting a growing number of border incidents and clashes, in particular in Badakhshan. In the second half of 2015, when the situation deteriorated in Kunduz and Takhar Provinces, the circumstances along the Tajik-Afghan border became significantly tenser. In the fall of 2015, residents of the Panj and Farkhar Districts in Tajikistan’s Khatlon region regularly reported to the mass media that their homes were shaking from shell explosions in neighboring Afghanistan and that in some instances shells had landed on the Tajik side of the border (prompting the appropriate apologies offered by the government in Kabul). The Panj River is quite narrow in this area, where the Afghan districts of Yangi Qala and Khwaja Ghar (Takhar Province) border Tajikistan’s Panj and Farkhar Districts. Fighting near the border intensified in the fall of 2015, as AGE groups moved into these areas after leaving the city of Kunduz, prompting fears among the Tajik border guard that AGEs could take over this section of the border on the Afghan side. In October 2015 President Emomali Rahmon revealed at a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin that AGEs and the ANA were engaged in fighting on the Afghan side of nearly 60 percent of the Tajik-Afghan border, a circumstance that was of great concern to the government in Dushanbe.
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mechalert
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby mechalert » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:40 am

Hello,

I was in khorog last week and went upto Ishkashim centre from there.

Life is as usual and peaceful, a bit hot though during day time. Met many travelers who has been to langar and wakhan area, heard wonderful things about the landscape and people (Corrupted police officers not included).

Don't rely on the false news popping up through the medias, try to stay with some locals in pamir. You will know how good is the hospitality of pamir people.

Note: be careful when taking photographs around khorog, i was stopped multiple times by police asking for bribe. No photos... :( :( :(
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Re: What's the current situation in Khorog?

Postby steven » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:44 am

mechalert wrote:Don't rely on the false news popping up through the medias, try to stay with some locals in pamir. You will know how good is the hospitality of pamir people.(


The article quoted above is not false. All is quiet in Tajik Pamir, but occasionally fighting spills over. Nothing to worry about necessarily but it is good to know.

Don't rely on your own subjective experiences to generalise - there are many things you do not know.
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