US May Trade Military Planes To Uzbekistan, Tajikistan For Aid In Afghanistan - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2022) The United States is considering the possibility of providing 50 military aircraft to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in exchange for help in countering terrorism in Afghanistan, the Politico newspaper reported, citing officials familiar with the matter.

The deal covers the US-donated aircraft which Afghan air force pilots used to flee the country to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan after takeover by the Taliban (under UN sanctions for terrorism) last summer, the report said.

According to one of the officials, the goal is to provide part of the aircraft in exchange for an informal agreement with the Tajik and Uzbek governments to "deepen security relationships" on border security and counterterrorism.

The Taliban demand the return of the aircraft, a mixture of light attack planes and helicopters, that the US supplied to the ousted Afghan government, as they consider it their property.

Uzbek authorities said in August that they do not plan to return said aircraft to the Afghan side as those were the property of the US.

The Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in August 2021 and prove unable to curb the deepening economic, humanitarian and security crises in the country. Thousands of Afghans have fled the country fearful of the Taliban, widespread violation of human rights, and the deprivation of women and girls of their freedoms.