India Tajikistan Relations: Latest Developments

IAS Prelims 2023

Recently Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan paid official visit to India from 14-18 December 2016.

President of Tajikistan and Prime Minister of India held wide-ranging talks on bilateral, regional and international issues.

Noting that 2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Tajikistan they reaffirmed their commitment to take bilateral relations to greater heights.

During this visit, four agreements were inked to boost cooperation on broadcasting television and radio, exchange of audio visual programmes; amending the agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and protection of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income; cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and financing of terrorism.

Initiation of bilateral investment treaty between the two sides was also agreed upon.

Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation. Prime Minister Modi appreciated “Tajikistan’s role in the Central Asian region as a mainstay against forces of extremism, radicalism, and terrorism”.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen action on this front based on mutually agreed priorities. This cooperation would be done on multiple levels; through reinforcing overall bilateral security cooperation, greater training, capacity building and information exchanges, and active coordination in regional and multilateral contexts.

Defence and security cooperation forms an important component of India –Tajik relations. Both sides have been conducting successful cooperation under the Foreign Office Consultation, Joint Working Group on Defence Cooperation and Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism and regular consultations between National Security Councils.

Both leaders agreed to further expand and continue these ties and work for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). India and Tajikistan share a common view on regional security issues, the joint statement identified terrorism and extremism as a serious threat to peace, stability and progress for the world.

The two leaders stressed on taking joint measures to expand and diversify bilateral trade which is below potential. To further the economic cooperation, Hydel-power, Information Technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare were identified as areas of priority action.

In ensure the meaningful cooperation in economic arena, the Tajik side invited Indian investments in four free economic zones in Tajikistan and in a number of small and medium hydroelectric power projects which Tajikistan has planned to build in future. In past India has contributed in rehabilitation of Varzhob-I Hydel Power Plant.

Prime Minister Modi and President Rahmon acknowledged that enhanced surface connectivity is crucial for boosting economic partnership. In this context, New Delhi expressed its support to develop the existing port and transport infrastructure and connecting it through road and rail network to Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia.

To realize this India will work to build trade and transit links through Chabahar port in Iran and is already engaged in facilitating the International North South Transport Corridor with other members, including Tajikistan. India’s accession to the Ashgabat Agreement will further help in linking it to Tajikistan and Central Asia.

Noting that 2017 will mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Tajik President reaffirmed their commitment to take actions on wide ranging agenda agreed during this visit to boost practical cooperation in different sectors between India and Tajikistan.