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Keen to join the Taliban, many Bangladeshis could be on their way to Afghanistan: Reports

What will be the impact of Afghanistan in Bangladesh?

Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies have expressed “deep concern” over reports indicating that many Bangladeshis are making their way to Afghanistan to join the Taliban.

Dhaka Tribune reported the police were closely monitoring the situation, both at home and abroad, though they ruled out any major threat from them.

“History informs us, though, that this is not the first time that Bangladeshis have left the country to fight wars alongside the Taliban,” the report said.

Back in 1979, thousands of Muslims from around the globe travelled to Afghanistan to fight the invading army of what was then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), it added.

Also read: Pakistan can stage a strong comeback in Bangladesh after "regime-change" in Afghanistan

The news organisation also said that many Bangladeshis along with citizens from Algeria, Palestine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt took part in the "jihad" (holy war) under the Taliban against the Soviet soldiers.

The Soviet Union entered Afghanistan in December, 1979. The move was undertaken under the assumption that the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978 would be upheld. However, the Soviet Union face a stiff resistance especially in the rural areas that led to many jihadis from the Muslim world coming together to put up a fight.

While there is no official record of those who travelled to Afghanistan during the decade-long Afghan-Soviet war, various sources indicated that the number ranges from 3,000 to 10,000, DT said.

“As the war began in 1979, there was an open call by Bangladeshi Islamist parties to join the forces in Afghanistan,” it said.