Whereas other countries in the region – notably neighboring Uzbekistan, Russia, and China – have been keen to establish decent diplomatic relations with the Taliban, Tajikistan has remained a fierce critic of Afghanistan's new rulers.
In a major symbolic gesture, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon conferred last month Tajikstan's highest honor on Ahmad Massoud's father – Ahmad Shah Massoud.
Rahmon is keen to present himself as a defender of Afghanistan's ethnic Tajiks, the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, many of whom are opposed to the Taliban.
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