Books on Tajikistan
Update No: 303 - (27/03/06)
Tajik president to visit Kazakstan
The most important country in Central Asia for Tajikistan is its near neighbour,
Kazakstan. Relations are more strained with its actual neighbour, Uzbekistan, as
is the wont of those next door to each other. The border, indeed, between the
two is closed.
Emomali Rahmonov, President of Tajikistan, will pay a visit to Kazakstan, Yerlan
Abildayev, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Kazakstan, told journalists, Kazakstan
Today correspondent reported. Mr. Abildayev did not name a concrete date of the
visit, but he noted that several agreements will be signed during the visit,
including agreements on air communication, labour migration, supplies of oil
products, and cultural co-operation.
Also, according to Mr. Abildayev, the heads of state will possibly discuss
construction of a power transmission line from Tajikistan to Kazakstan after the
commissioning of one of three hydropower stations in Tajikistan (Rogoun,
Sangutdin-1 and -2.) "The Investment Fund of Kazakstan in its turn is
interested in construction of a co-ordinated hydroelectric system on Zerafshan
river in Tajikistan," - he said adding that Kazakstani investors are
studying the economic climate of Tajikistan and conditions for cooperation not
only in energy, but also in pharmaceuticals and agricultural processing.
IMF plans to realize new three-year PRGF programme in Tajikistan
On March 14th, President Rahmonov met the head of IMF mission in Tajikistan
Carlos Pinerua, according to a REGNUM correspondent. As Pinerua stated at a news
conference after the meeting, they discussed questions regarding new Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) on Tajikistan.
He said, that the previous PRGF programme finished in the beginning of February,
and IMF highly appreciated the results of it, so it decided to grant a new
programme on PRGF to Tajikistan. Negotiations regarding it will start on the
According to Pinerua, the IMF in May-June will present the new programme. Funds
granted in the framework of the project are 55% of the total Tajikistan quota in
IMF and reach US$120 million.
He stressed that this sum can be lowered or raised depending on the projects
implemented and Tajikistan's balance of payment.
Pinerua informed the press that IMF would develop a partnership with Tajikistan
in macro-economic policy, which is a leading IMF activity sphere. Also, the two
sides will work on budget, monetary and credit policies, strengthening of
taxation system, management of governmental spends and reforms in power
engineering, agriculture etc.
Dushanbe synagogue saved
A wonderful event has happened for the Jews of Dushanbe. The Government of
Tajikistan has decided to allow the historical Synagogue in Dushanbe to remain
on the site where it has stood for the past 100 years. It helps to have a regime
in place implacably opposed to religious sectarians, notably Islamic
fundamentalists, such as are on the rampage in the Taleban-infested southern
regions of neighbouring Afghanistan.
Over the past few years, the international Jewish community has been alarmed by
the tragic fate of the Dushanbe Synagogue, the only synagogue in Tajikistan,
which was slated for destruction to make room for newer developments planned by
the municipal government. In this regard, Chief Rabbi of Uzbekistan David
Gurevich has paid several visits to Dushanbe in order to meet with foreign
ambassadors, state officials and the city's Mayor, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulayev.
Lev Leviev, the President of the Ohr Avner Foundation and of the Federation of
Jewish Communities of the CIS, forwarded letters to Tajikistan President Emomali
Rahmonov, in which he expressed concern regarding the fate of the century-old
Synagogue. In these messages, Mr. Leviev also expressed his certainty that the
Government of Tajikistan, which has always been friendly towards the Jewish
Diaspora, will allow this building, which is sacred to Jews of Dushanbe, to
remain in its place.
This development has shown that the efforts of the local Jewish community, as
well as those taken by Jews throughout the world, have finally been successful.
"We are very happy that the government has decided to keep the Synagogue on
its historical site," expressed Rabbi Gurevich, who plans to appeal to
world Jewry at the Sixth Bukharian Jewish Congress, which is to take place in
the near future, regarding the required financial support to support the
reconstruction of the Dushanbe Synagogue.
Rabbi Gurevich has assured local authorities that, in the case that the
Synagogue is able to remain on its historical site, he will find the means to
fit the building into the appearance of the 'Palace of Nations', which is being
built in the city centre.
Construction of power plant is important for Tajikistan
Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan, Ramezan Abdullatipov, on February 4th said the
construction of hydro electric power plant Sangtoudeh-2 by Iran in Tajikistan is
vital for the economy of Tajikistan, reported Interfax News Agency.
He said that the plant would expedite electricity production in Tajikistan and
lead to resolution of the region's energy shortages.
On completion of the project, Russian investors will also be driven to expedite
their economic project in the country.
Meanwhile, Tehran and Moscow are ready to end the civil war in Tajikistan and
sign a final document, underlined Abdullatipov. Abdullatipov also expressed his
country's full support for Iran's peaceful nuclear programs. The volume of
Iran-Tajikistan trade exchanges stood at 130 million Euro in 2005.
Iran exports mainly foodstuff and construction materials to Tajikistan and
imports aluminium and cotton.
Iran has generously participated in Tajikistan's development through investment
in the country, particularly in the construction of the Anzab tunnel and
Sangtoudeh 2 power plant.
World Bank to write off 307 million Euro debt
The World Bank plans to write off Tajikistan's debt, World Bank Senior
vice-president, Francois Bourguignon, said after meeting with Tajik president,
Emomali Rakhmonov, reported Interfax News Agency.
The debt of Tajikistan to the World Bank amounted to 307.17 million Euro on
January 1st 2006. Bourguignon said that the decision would be made at a meeting
of the World Bank board in early February after consultations with G8 members,
who had pushed for a write-off of the debts of the nine poorest countries,
including Tajikistan. In addition, the World Bank will increase the funds made
available to Tajikistan this year. Bourguignon said that Tajikistan has the best
economic reforms among the nine poorest countries. In late 2005, the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced its intention to write off 99
million Euro owed by Tajikistan in early 2006.
Tajikistan, China to sign scientific partnership deal
Tajikistan and China are expected to sign an agreement between scientific
institutes, vice-president of the Science Academy of Tajikistan, Musso
Dirorsheyev, said, Interfax News Agency reported.
He expects the document will be signed during the visit of the Tajikistan
scientific delegation to Beijing. The scholar said attention should be paid to
Tajikistan-study, Iran-study, medicine and astronomy.
Besides, the Science Academy would like to establish cooperation in the sphere
of historical sciences to study the Chinese sources of the history of Tajikistan
people and Central Asian nations. The scientific institutes of both countries
are also expected to be partners in the sphere of seismology and seismic
construction. Currently, training of scientific personnel is being negotiated.
Tajikistan to set up regulatory system for communications
The Communications ministry in Tajikistan plans to establish a new regulatory
system that would give state control over internet service providers and
international telecoms. According to Tajik entrepreneurs, this framework would
suppress the freedom of speech in the central Asian nation, reported Interfax
Tajikistan's Ministry of Communications has launched a variety of other spin-off
ventures, which was designed to handle various communications and media-related
needs. State sponsorship has enabled these companies to offer customers
preferential tariffs. Small-scale firms have established a strong presence in
evolving sectors, namely as internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile phone
network operators. Earlier the State Communication Inspectorate (SCI) regulated
these sectors but last year authorities created a new body, the Communications
agency (CRA) to supervise licensing and regulatory issues.
According to the chief engineer of one private ISP, the new agency is under the
government's firm control and it has far broader regulatory powers than did the
The CRA requires internet and mobile phone operators to provide detailed data on
billing, the number of clients and profits. Several local observers said the
agency's far-reaching investigatory powers have had a "chilling
effect" on the ISP and mobile communications spheres, as entrepreneurs are
now hesitant to develop their businesses that might displease the government and
invite retaliation in the form of an audit.
Besides, the government is planning to establish a Unified Communications Centre
and information Resource Unit under the Communications ministry. To implement
the project, all telecommunications companies and ISP's need to route their
traffic through the centre.
Many independent firms invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment
but the establishment of the state-controlled centre would lead to financial
calamity. For instance, Babylon-Mobile invested heavily in a fibre-optic line in
Dushanbe so that it can operate independently of Tajiktelecom. Entrepreneurs
believes that the government would gain virtual monopoly over telecommunications
and internet service, if Unified Communications Centre is establishment. The
quality of service will also suffer and the customer prices will increase.
The entrepreneurs fear that this new system would be utilised by the government
to maintain surveillance on its critics and challengers. Many influential
individuals in Tajikistan's political and security establishments are
shareholders in nominally independent telecoms and ISPs and would resist the
move by the Communications ministry to achieve dominance over those two
lucrative business sectors.
Meanwhile critics argued that implementation of the plan would leave the country
vulnerable to a communications blackout. Any interruption in the envisioned
centre's systems could prevent Tajiks from communicating from the outside world.
An independent political analyst on conditions of anonymity said that the new
project can be implemented but it requires international aid as Tajikistan will
be unable to cover the expenses of the project .
The national budget for this year is 400 million Euro. He added that the plan
will face opposition from within the ruling elite.