India-Tajikistan Relations | UPSC Notes

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Tajikistan is in the middle of central Asia. To the north is Kyrgyzstan, to the east is China, to the south is Afghanistan, and to the west is Uzbekistan.

It used to be a part of the Soviet Union, but when that union broke up in 1991, it got to be independent. Dushanbe is the country’s capital.

Since the two countries started talking to each other diplomatically on August 28, 1992, high-level visits between the two countries have strengthened their ties.

Where we work together

• High-level trips from both countries have helped to strengthen ties between them. Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had toured Tajikistan in 2003.

• In September 2009, President Pratibha Patil went to Tajikistan on a State visit. In 2013, Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari went to Tajikistan. PM Narendra Modi was the last person to visit the country in 2015.

• On October 7-9, 2018, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India, went to Tajikistan for a State visit. Both leaders said they were still committed to growing and strengthening the strategic relationship for peace and stability in the two countries and the region as a whole. Both leaders also talked about how similar their countries’ cultures are and how important the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) 2016-2018 is for training programmes and other activities.

• The president of India said that Tajikistan would get a grant of USD 20 million to use on development projects that both countries agreed were good ideas.

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• India and Tajikistan raised their relationship to the level of a “Strategic Partnership” in 2012, when President Rahmon visited India.

• India and Tajikistan work together on a regular basis through Multilateral Fora, such as the SCO and the UN. Tajikistan wants India to be a permanent member of the UNSC. In 2020, Tajikistan backed India’s bid for a non-permanent place on the UN Security Council for the years 2021 and 2022. India gave Tajikistan its backing for joining the WTO. India has always backed Tajikistan’s water-related ideas at the United Nations. India was also in favour of Tajikistan joining ECOSOC.

• India has helped Tajikistan improve the Ayni Air Base and run a field medical unit at the Farkhor Air Base as part of their defence relations.

• When Covid-19 broke out in Tajikistan in 2020, India sent medical aid to help people there.

• The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

Relationships Between Cultures and People

• India and Tajikistan have a lot in common in terms of history, culture, and language. People like Indian culture a lot, and Indian films and TV shows that have been dubbed into Russian are often shown on local TV stations.

• To strengthen and broaden these cultural ties, the ICCR sends teachers from India to the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre in Dushanbe to teach Kathak and Tabla. There are also Hindi lessons at the centre.

Benefits for Both Countries:

• The two countries have a lot of opportunity to work together on defence and security because Tajikistan is close to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which gives it geostrategic importance.

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• Improving the planned connections in the North-South transport corridor will help both sides’ economies grow, which is good for both sides.

Together, the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor (ITTC) are making it easier for people to travel between India and the Central Asian countries. India and Tajikistan have similar security concerns, especially now that international troops are no longer in Afghanistan. Tajikistan is the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. This means that India can use the country to get the most out of its hydropower potential.

Future Prospects

• The two countries will talk to other countries in the area about the idea of making a transport corridor that includes rail lines. Trade and business need to be stepped up. India will look for ways to invest in Tajikistan’s free economic zones, especially in IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, textiles, leather, goods, and mining. India and Tajikistan will also work together to improve Tajikistan’s ability to use space technology for human development. Cooperation will get closer in the farm sector so that people can make their own food and get involved in the sustainable production and distribution of energy to help the area grow.

To get more people to talk to each other, we need to increase the amount and frequency of flights.