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Mon 11 December 2017

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The poorest Central Asian state during Soviet times, Tajikistan has been impoverished even further since independence. Ravaged by 6 years of civil war and loss of soviet support it is desperately poor. Recent Peace initiatives bought about by UN arbitration and elections in 2002 have finally resulted some stability. Tajikistan is the only Central Asian country to have an elected coalition government which includes Islamic elements.

· 143,100 sq km
· Completely landlocked
· 93% covered by Pamir Mountains which limit communication, industry and agriculture

· Dushanbe
· Means 'Monday'. Started as a village of 6000 people where the only market was held on a Monday.

Territorial Disputes
· Gorno Badakshan in the east
· Contains gold and mineral deposits
· China claims 30% is its territory

Civil War
· Poorest sate in Soviet times
· Highest rates of unemployment
· Diverse ethnic and clan divisions
· Loss of Soviet Support at independence
· Extreme poverty and rioting
· Descent to Civil War

· 6.5 million people
· Of these 50-100,000 were killed during the civil war
· 250,000 fled
· 65% Tajik
· 25% Russian

· 80% Sunni Muslim
· 5% Shia Muslim
· Aga Khani Ismailis in the Pamir Mountains

· Descended from the Persian Colonisations
· Culturally Persian, unlike the rest of Central Asia which is predominantly Turkic
· Form the second largest ethnic group in Central Asia after the Uzbeks. There are:

o 1 million Tajiks in Uzbekistan
o 200,000 in the Xinjiang province of China
o 4.5 million in Afghanistan (the late Ahmed Shah Masood, who led the main opposition to the Taliban was Tajik).

· Former Communist Party leader Nabiev was forced to step down after independence as the country spiralled into Civil War and Chaos
· President Emomali Rahmanov (People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan)
· Elections Feb 2000 - Only central Asian country to have a democratically elected government made up of many coalition parties
· Only Central Asian country to allow expression of political Islam
· Islamic Renaissance Party churned much of the opposition during the war. Some elements have been co-opted into the government the rest have died down.

· Impoverished by war
· 80% of population below poverty line
· Dependent on aid from Moscow, Uzbekistan and International Humanitarian Assistance
· Cotton is the most important crop

Leaky Borders
· Drug smuggling

o Afghani opium is smuggled across the border to Tajikistan and thence onwards to Europe
· Arms Smuggling
o From Tajikistan to Ahmed Shah Masood's opposition during the Afghan civil war
o From Afghanistan to Tajikistan during the Tajik civil war



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