Despite official denials that civil war-era opposition leaders still pose a national security threat, a rash of arrests of both alleged Islamist militants and former opposition figures in Tajikistan suggests the situation is not as stable as President Imomali Rahmon's administration would like the outside world to believe. Some experts see a connection between the arrests and parliamentary elections scheduled for early 2010.
To some analysts, it appears that the Rahmon administration is using anti-narcotic operations as a cover for rounding up opponents. On June 15, officials said they had arrested former opposition members as part of an anti-narcotics sweep. Authorities did not provide further details.
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Saodat Mahbatsho is the pseudonym for a Tajik journalist.