By Paul Goble
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have agreed on all but seven kilometers of their 1326 km border, but resolving the very last may be hard because they are located near the place where those two countries and Kyrgyzstan meet; and Kyrgyzstan has unresolved border disputes with both the other two (tj.sputniknews.ru/20221201/tajikistan-uzbekistan-granitsa-1053193255.html).
Nonetheless, the progress Tashkent and Dushanbe have reached is impressive and a sign that Tashkent tanis committed to delimiting and demarcating all its borders and that Dushanbe is as well. The chief problem lies with Kyrgyzstan because even when Bishkek is prepared to agree as it did recently with Tashkent, the Kyrgyz population is not.
(On that issue and how border disputes between Kyrgyzstan, on the one hand, and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, on the other, is bleeding back into the Kyrgyz political system, see jamestown.org/program/kyrgyzstan-and-tajikistan-descending-into-chaos-and-full-scale-war/ and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/11/bishkek-permits-kyrgyz-living-in-border.html.)
Until all the border disputes are resolved – and controversies have swirled continuously since 1991 – regional transportation projects are more or less on hold, drug flows and terrorist incursions are constant problems, and national elites will use these conflicts to build their own power bases even at the risk of war (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2022/06/border-conflicts-in-central-asia-will.html.)