Tajikistan is the Central Asian country which is located strategically sharing borders with Afghanistan and Republic of China. India Tajikistan bilateral relations grew since Tajikistan independence in 1991 from soviet union in the wake of its disintegration. Two countries multifaceted strategic partnership is based on collective interest. Inspite of being encircled by radicalism and terrorism Tajikistan endeavoured to uphold secular governance.
India and Tajikistan resolved to revive formal interactions in the framework of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism for bolstering cooperation in the fight against terrorism. In this context both countries highlighted the need for ratification of the "Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism" by the UN General Assembly.
Through Afghan-owned process both sides support peace and security in Afghanistan. Tajikistan supported India’s membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and also permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council. New Delhi has developed the Ayni air base in Tajikstan as well as operated a field medical unit at Farkhor Air Base to treat Afghan Northern Alliance fighters.
People to people ties
Periodically Programme of Cooperation between India and Tajikistan on Art and Culture is held to enrich cultural ties. India thanked Tajikistan for its cooperation in declaring June 21 as International day of Yoga in the United Nations. Both sides accepted to conduct ‘Days of Culture’ in both countries.
India and Tajikistan agreed to cooperate in the field of television and radio-broadcasting. popularity of Indian cinema also contributes to cultural bond. India welcomed the scheduled AYUSH information cell at the embassy of India in Tajikistan for information sharing about traditional medicinal practices of India.
Under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) scholarships are awarded by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for human resource development in Tajikistan. Also we have greater exchanges between educational institutions of the two countries. India contributes to enhance security and stability of Tajikistan by aiding the development of Tajikistan’s defence capabilities.
Cooperation on development and trade
Trade between two sides are not to expectations despite efforts from both countries due more transit time and lack of readily accessible trade route. Despite limitations trade in food processing, mining, pharmaceuticals, textiles, skill development, science & technology, Information Technology, culture and tourism are continued between two countries.
In this context Tajikistan recapitulated its consent to the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which will considerably decrease transportation cost and transit time between Central Asia and India. Also both sides are working out a new plan to create alternate surface route and enhanced air connectivity.
In the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan Trilateral Transit Trade Agreement (PATTTTA) which is contemplated to facilitate trade between Tajikistan and the countries of the South Asian region. Both sides agreed to take steps to include India in this agreement.
India supported Tajikistan in setting up Varzob-1 Hydro Power Station. India conducts workshop on agriculture in Tajikistan to share its expertise and knowledge. In the health sector India proposed to implement tele-medicine project to share its medical expertise and augment medical tourism from Tajikistan.
India-Tajikistan Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation (JCM) is a forum to widen trade and investment and bridge exchanges between business communities.
Similar to BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar), a KKTIC (Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan-India-China) forum can be negotiated which would also facilitate South Asia-Central Asia corridor.
Rabindranath Tagore bust was unveiled by PM Modi in Dushanbe. Both countries agreed to liberalise existing visa regime to enhance people to people connect. Indian PM first time visited landlocked central Asian Republics to consolidate its influence as response to Silk Road economic belt initiative of China. Use of space technology for resource management.
India intended to look beyond U.S and European market, in the wake of euro zone crisis and global recession. In this context strategic relationship with central Asian countries, South-south cooperation, and Act east policy will cater as market to Indian goods. Indian prime minister visit to Tajikistan will strengthen India’s presence in central Asia to respond to China influence in this region.