Tajikistan

Date:  2013-05-28  Author: admin    Source:Wikipedia

Republic of Tajikistan
 
Tajikistan,officially the Republic of Tajikistan,is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. It borders Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan in Pakistan are separated from Tajikistan by the narrowWakhan Corridor.
Most of Tajikistan's population belongs to the Persian-speaking Tajik ethnic group, who share language, culture and history with Afghanistan and Iran. Once part of the Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik SSR). Mountains cover over 90% of this Central Asian republic.
After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Trade in commodities such as cottonaluminium and uranium has contributed greatly to this steady improvement.
Tajikistan is landlocked, and is the smallest nation in Central Asia by area. It lies mostly between latitudes36° and 41° N (a small area is north of 41°), and longitudes 67° and 75° E (a small area is east of 75°). It is covered by mountains of the Pamir range, and more than fifty percent of the country is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) above sea level. The only major areas of lower land are in the north (part of the Fergana Valley), and in the southern Kofarnihon and Vakhsh river valleys, which form the Amu Darya. Dushanbe is located on the southern slopes above the Kofarnihon valley.
The Amu Darya and Panj rivers mark the border with Afghanistan, and the glaciers in Tajikistan's mountains are the major source of runoff for the Aral Sea. There are over 900 rivers in Tajikistan longer than 10 kilometres.
 
The territory of what is now Tajikistan has been inhabited continuously since 4000 BC. It has been under the rule of various empires throughout history, for the longest period being part of thePersian Empire. It was originally called Neb for a short period of time, before being given the name Tajikistan.
Acharya Yaska's Nirukta (7th century BC) attests that the verb Śavati/Sawati in the sense "to go" was used by only the Kambojas. The Savati/Swati term is also used for the people who had been living in ancient Swat state. The Gabari sultans,who claim their ancestor Sultan Samus the son of Kamboja. It has been shown that the modern Ghalcha dialects,Valkhi, Shigali, Sriqoli, Jebaka (also called Sanglichi or Ishkashim), Munjani, Yidga and Yaghnobi, mainly spoken in thePamir mountains and countries on the headwaters of the Oxus, still use terms derived from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go". The Yaghnobi language, spoken by the Yaghnobis in the Sughd Province around the headwaters ofZeravshan valley, also still contains a relic "Śu" from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go".
Further, Sir George Abraham Grierson says that the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha until about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian. Thus, the ancient Kamboja, probably included the BadakshanPamirs and northern territories including the Yaghnobi region in the doab of the Oxus and Jaxartes. On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra), on the northwest by Sogdiana, on the north byUttarakuru, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara.
Numerous Indologists locate original Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan valley, north up parts of Sogdhiana or Fargana — in the Sakadvipa or Scythiaof the classical writers.
Thus, in pre-Buddhist times (7th–6th century BCE), the parts of modern Tajikistan including territories as far as Zeravshan valley in Sogdiana formed parts of ancient Kamboja and the Parama Kamboja kingdoms when it was ruled by the Kambojas till it became part of Persian Achaemenid Empire. After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, the region became the northern part of HellenisticGreco-Bactrian Kingdom.
From the last quarter of 4th century BCE until the first quarter of the 2nd century BCE, it was part of theBactrian Empire, from whom it was passed on to Scythian Tukharas and hence became part of Tukharistan. Contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty was made in the 2nd century BCE, when envoys were sent to the area of Bactria to explore regions west of China.
Arabs brought Islam in the 7th century CE.[citation needed] The Samanid Empire supplanted the Arabs and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, which became the cultural centers of Tajiks (both of which are now inUzbekistan). The Mongols would later take partial control of Central Asia, and later the land that today comprises Tajikistan became a part of the Emirate of Bukhara. A small community of Jews, displaced from the Middle East after the Babylonian captivity, migrated to the region and settled there after 600 BCE, though the majority of the recent Jewish population did not migrate to Tajikistan until the 20th century.
In 1924, the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created as a part of Uzbekistan, but in 1929 the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik SSR) was made a separate constituent republic (see also Shirinsho Shotemur). The predominantly ethnic Tajik cities of Samarkand and Bukhara remained in the Uzbek SSR. Between 1926 and 1959 the proportion of Russians among Tajikistan's population grew from less than 1% to 13%. Some 120,000 inhabitants of Tajikistan died during World War II.
In terms of living conditions, education and industry Tajikistan was behind the other Soviet Republics. In the 1980s, it had the lowest household saving rate in the USSR, the lowest percentage of households in the two top per capita income groups, and the lowest rate of university graduates per 1000 people.
By the late 1980s Tajik nationalists were calling for increased rights. Real disturbances did not occur within the republic until 1990.The following year, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Tajikistan declared its independence.
The first nation to establish an embassy in Dushanbe was Iran, which was also one of the first countries to immediately recognize Tajikistan as an independent state in 1991.
 
Almost immediately after independence, Tajikistan was plunged into a civil war that saw various factions, allegedly backed by Russia and Iran, fighting one another. All but 25,000 of the more than 400,000 ethnic Russians, who were mostly employed in industry, fled to Russia. By 1997, the war had cooled down, and a central government began to take form, with peaceful elections in 1999.
"Longtime observers of Tajikistan often characterize the country as profoundly averse to risk and skeptical of promises of reform, a political passivity they trace to the country’s ruinous civil war," Ilan Greenberg wrote in a news article in The New York Times just before the country's November 2006 presidential election.
Tajikistan is officially a republic, and holds elections for the Presidency and Parliament. It is, however, a one party dominant system, where the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan routinely has a vast majority in Parliament. Emomalii Rahmon has held the office of President continually since November 1994. The parliamentary elections in 2005 aroused many accusations from opposition parties and international observers that President Emomalii Rahmon corruptly manipulates the election process. The most recent elections, in February 2010, saw the ruling PDPT lose four seats in Parliament, yet still maintain a comfortable majority. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe election observers said the 2010 polling "failed to meet many key OSCE commitments" and that "these elections failed on many basic democratic standards." The government insisted that only minor violations had occurred, which would not affect the will of the Tajik people.
Freedom of the press is officially guaranteed by the government, although independent press outlets remain restricted, as does a substantial amount of web content. According to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, access is blocked to local and foreign websites including avesta.tj, Tjknews.com, ferghana.ru and centrasia.ru and journalists are often obstructed from reporting on controversial events. In practice, no public criticism of the regime is tolerated and all direct protest is severely suppressed and does not get reported in the local media.
The presidential election held on November 6, 2006 was boycotted by "mainline" opposition parties, including the 23,000-member Islamic Renaissance Party. Four remaining opponents "all but endorsed the incumbent", Rahmon.
Tajikistan has given Iran its support in Iran's membership bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, after a meeting between the Tajik President and the Iranian foreign minister. 

Copyright any references to reprint must indicate the source. Center of SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (SCO) Studies,

Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. 622-7 Huai Hai Road (M) Suite 458? Shanghai, China, 200020