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Tajikistan

Tajikistan

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Tajikistan officially the Republic of Tajikistan (Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон, Çumhuriji Toçikiston; Jomhuri-ye Tajikestan; Республика Таджикистан, Respublika Tadzhikistan), is a mountainous landlocked
Landlocked
A landlocked country is a country entirely enclosed by land, or whose only coastlines lie on closed seas. There are 48 landlocked countries in the world, including partially recognized states...

 country in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 borders it to the south, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 to the west, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 to the north, and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to the east.

Most of Tajikistan's population belongs to the Persian-speaking
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 Tajik ethnic group, who share language, culture and history with Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 . Once part of the Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 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 cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 and uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

 has contributed greatly to this steady improvement.

Etymology


Tajikistan means the "Land of the Tajiks". The word Tajik was used by medieval Turks to refer to Iranian-speaking peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

. From the 11th century, the term referred to East Iranian people, but by the 15th century came to be applied to Persian speakers
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

.
In medieval Persian literature, Tajik appears as a synonym of "Persian".

As a self-designation, the term Tajik ( Tājīk; ), has become acceptable only during the last decades of the 20th century, particularly as a result of Soviet administration in Central Asia. The term does not denote an ethnic group in the narrow sense, but remains a general designation of a variety of Persian-speaking peoples in Central Asia.

Tajikistan was frequently spelled as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English, transliterated
Romanization of Russian
Romanization of the Russian alphabet is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet...

 from the Russian Таджикистан (in Russian the phoneme /d͡ʒ/ is spelled дж, that is, dzh or dj.) Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is widely used in English literature derived from Russian sources. "Tadjikistan" is the spelling in French and can occasionally be found in English language texts.

Early history




The territory of what is now Tajikistan has been inhabited continuously since 4000 BC
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

. It has been under the rule of various empires throughout history, for the longest period being part of the Persian Empire. It was originally called Neb for a short period of time, before being given the name Tajikistan.

Acharya Yaska
Yaska
' ) was a Sanskrit grammarian who preceded Pāṇini , assumed to have been active in the 5th or 6th century BC.He is the author of the Nirukta, a technical treatise on etymology, lexical category and the semantics of words...

's Nirukta
Nirukta
Nirukta is one of the six disciplines of Hinduism, treating etymology, particularly of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas. The discipline is traditionally attributed to , an ancient Sanskrit grammarian...

 (7th century BC) attests that the verb Śavati in the sense "to go" was used by only the Kambojas.The Savati/Swati term is 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 dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s, Valkhi, Shigali, Sriqoli, Jebaka (also called Sanglichi or Ishkashim), Munjani, Yidga and Yaghnobi, mainly spoken in the Pamir mountains
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

 and countries on the headwaters of the Oxus, still use terms derived from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go". The Yaghnobi language
Yaghnobi language
The Yaghnobi language is a living East Iranian language . Yaghnobi is spoken in the upper valley of the Yaghnob River in the Zarafshan area of Tajikistan by the Yaghnobi people...

, spoken by the Yaghnobis
Yaghnobi people
Yaghnobi people, or Yagnobian people, is the name of an isolated people who live in the Sughd province of Tajikistan in the valleys of the Yagnob, Kul and Varzob rivers. These are the last living relics of the great Sogdian nation that once inhabited most of Central Asia beyond the Oxus/Amu Darya...

 in the Sughd Province around the headwaters of Zeravshan
Zeravshan
Zeravshan River is a river in Central Asia. Its name, "sprayer of gold" in Persian, refers to the presence of gold-bearing sands in the upper reaches of the river. To the ancient Greeks it was known as the Polytimetus...

 valley, also still contains a relic "Śu" from ancient Kamboja Śavati in the sense "to go".

Further, Sir George Abraham Grierson
George Abraham Grierson
Sir George Abraham Grierson OM KCIE was born to a prominent Dublin family in 1851. His father and grandfather, both also named George, were well-known printers and publishers.-Biography:Educated at St...

 says that the speech of Badakshan was a Ghalcha until about three centuries ago when it was supplanted by a form of Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

. Thus, the ancient Kamboja, probably included the Badakshan, Pamirs and northern territories including the Yaghnobi region in the doab
Doab
A Doab is a term used in India and Pakistan for a "tongue" or tract of land lying between two confluent rivers...

 of the Oxus and Jaxartes. On the east it was bounded roughly by Yarkand and/or Kashgar
Kashgar
Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

, on the west by Bahlika (Uttaramadra
Uttaramadra
The Uttaramadra was the northern branch of the Madra people who are numerously referenced in ancient Sanskrit and Pali literature.In Aitareya Brahmana , the Uttarakuru and the Uttaramadra tribes are stated to be living beyond Himalaya...

), on the northwest by Sogdiana
Sogdiana
Sogdiana or Sogdia was the ancient civilization of an Iranian people and a province of the Achaemenid Empire, eighteenth in the list on the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great . Sogdiana is "listed" as the second of the "good lands and countries" that Ahura Mazda created...

, on the north by Uttarakuru
Uttarakuru
Uttarakuru is the name of a dvipa in ancient Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The Uttarakuru country and its people are sometimes described as belonging to the real world, whereas at other times they are mythical or otherworldly spiritual beings.-Vedic literature:Aitareya Brahmana makes first...

, on the southeast by Darada, and on the south by Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

.

Numerous Indologists locate original Kamboja in Pamirs and Badakshan and the Parama Kamboja further north, in the Trans-Pamirian territories comprising Zeravshan
Zeravshan
Zeravshan River is a river in Central Asia. Its name, "sprayer of gold" in Persian, refers to the presence of gold-bearing sands in the upper reaches of the river. To the ancient Greeks it was known as the Polytimetus...

 valley, north up parts of Sogdhiana/Fargana — in the Sakadvipa or Scythia
Scythia
In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

 of the classical writers.

Thus, in the 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
Kambojas
The Kambojas were a kshatriya tribe of Iron Age India, frequently mentioned in Sanskrit and Pali literature.They were an Indo-Iranian tribe situated at the boundary of the Indo-Aryans and the Iranians, and appear to have moved from the Iranian into the Indo-Aryan sphere over time.The Kambojas...

 till it became part of Persian Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

. After the Persian Empire was defeated by Alexander the Great, the region became the northern part of Hellenistic Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world, covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 to 125 BC...

.

From the last quarter of 4th century BCE until the first quarter of the 2nd century BCE, it was part of the Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

n Empire, from whom it was passed on to Scythian Tukharas and hence became part of Tukharistan. Contact with the Chinese Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 was made in the 2nd century BCE, when envoys were sent to the area of Bactria to explore regions west of China.

Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s brought Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 in the 7th century CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

. The Samanid Empire supplanted the Arabs and enlarged the cities of Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 and Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

, which became the cultural centers of Tajiks (both of which are now in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

). The Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 would later take partial control of Central Asia, and later the land that today comprises Tajikistan became a part of the Emirate of Bukhara
Emirate of Bukhara
The Emirate of Bukhara was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920. It occupied the land between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers, known formerly as Transoxiana. Its core territory was the land along the lower Zarafshan River, and its urban centres were the ancient cities of...

. A small community of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, 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.

Russian presence



In the 19th century, the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 began to spread into Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 during the Great Game. Between 1864 and 1885 it gradually took control of the entire territory of Russian Turkestan
Russian Turkestan
Russian Turkestan was the western part of Turkestan within the Russian Empire , comprising the oasis region to the south of the Kazakh steppes, but not the protectorates of the Emirate of Bukhara and the Khanate of Khiva.-History:-Establishment:Although Russia had been pushing south into the...

 from today's border with Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 in the north to the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 in the west and the border with Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in the south. Tajikistan was eventually carved out of this territory, which historically had a large Tajik population.

After the overthrow of Imperial Russia
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

 in 1917, guerrillas throughout Central Asia, known as basmachi, waged a war against Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 armies in a futile attempt to maintain independence. The Bolsheviks prevailed after a four-year war, in which mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s and villages were burned down and the population heavily suppressed. Soviet authorities started a campaign of secularization, practicing Muslims, Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, and Christians were persecuted, and mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s, churches, and synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

s were closed.

Soviet Tajikistan




In 1924, the Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created as a part of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

, but in 1929 the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic
Tajik SSR
The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Tajik SSR for short, was one of the 15 republics that made up the Soviet Union. Located in Central Asia, the Tajik SSR was created on 5 December 1929 as a national entity for the Tajik people within the Soviet Union...

 (Tajik SSR) was made a separate constituent republic (see also Shirinsho Shotemur
Shirinsho Shotemur
Shirinsho Shotemur is a prominent Tajik politician of the twentieth century, who has made a major contribution to the early history of the Soviet Tajikistan.-Life and political activity:...

). The predominantly ethnic Tajik cities of Samarkand
Samarkand
Although a Persian-speaking region, it was not united politically with Iran most of the times between the disintegration of the Seleucid Empire and the Arab conquest . In the 6th century it was within the domain of the Turkic kingdom of the Göktürks.At the start of the 8th century Samarkand came...

 and Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

 remained in the Uzbek SSR
Uzbek SSR
The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Uzbek SSR for short, was one of the republics of the Soviet Union since its creation in 1924...

. Between 1926 and 1959 the proportion of Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 among Tajikistan's population grew from less than 1% to 13%. Some 120,000 inhabitants of Tajikistan died during the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

In terms of living conditions, education and industry Tajikistan was behind the other Soviet Republics
Republics of the Soviet Union
The Republics of the Soviet Union or the Union Republics of the Soviet Union were ethnically-based administrative units that were subordinated directly to the Government of the Soviet Union...

. 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
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 collapsed, and Tajikistan declared its independence.

The first nation to establish an embassy in Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

 was Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, which was also one of the first countries to immediately recognize Tajikistan as an independent state in 1991.

Post-independence



The nation almost immediately fell into a civil war that involved various factions fighting one another; these factions were often distinguished by clan loyalties. The non-Muslim population, particularly Russians and Jews, fled the country during this time because of persecution, increased poverty and better economic opportunities in the West or in other former Soviet republics.

Emomalii Rahmon came to power in 1994, defeating former prime minister Abdumalik Abdullajanov
Abdumalik Abdullajanov
Abdumalik Abdullayevich Abdullajanov is a Tajikistani politician. He served as the Prime Minister of Tajikistan from September 21, 1992 to December 18, 1993. He resigned as Prime Minister to become Tajikistan's first ambassador to Russia....

 in a November presidential election with 58% of the vote. The elections took place shortly after the end of the war, and Tajikistan was in a state of complete devastation. The estimated dead numbered over 100,000. Around 1.2 million people were refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s inside and outside of the country. In 1997, a ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 was reached between Rahmon and opposition parties (United Tajik Opposition
United Tajik Opposition
The United Tajik Opposition was an alliance of democratic, liberal and Islamist forces that fought in the Tajik Civil War from 1992 to 1997 against administration of President Emomali Rahmonov....

).

Peaceful elections
Tajikistani presidential election, 1999
Presidential elections were held in Tajikistan on 6 November 1999. They were won by the incumbent, Emomalii Rahmon, who took 97.6% of the vote. The opposition, who had demanded the elections be postponed, and planned to boycott them , described the result as illegal...

 were held in 1999, though they were criticized by opposition parties and foreign observers. Rahmon was re-elected with 98% of the vote. Elections
Tajikistani presidential election, 2006
The 2006 presidential election in Tajikistan was held on November 6.The candidates were:*Emomali Rahmonov — the incumbent, and a member of the dominant People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan...

 were held again in 2006, with Rahmon winning a third term in office with 79% of the vote in a field of five candidates. Several opposition parties boycotted the election and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was critical of it, although observers from the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

 claimed the elections to be legal and transparent.

Rahmon's government came under criticism from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 (OSCE) in October 2010 for its censorship and repression of the media. The OSCE claimed that the Tajik Government censored Tajik and foreign websites and instituted tax inspections on independent printing houses that lead to the cessation of printing activities for a number of independent newspapers.

Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n border troops were stationed along the Tajik-Afghan border until summer 2005. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 troops have been stationed at the Dushanbe Airport
Dushanbe Airport
Dushanbe International Airport is an airport located in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Work has begun on upgrading facilities at the airport. Funds made available from unnamed sources will finance enhancements to the runway and apron and the upgrade of the terminal buildings to handle...

 in support of air operations of NATO's International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 personnel periodically visit Tajikistan to conduct joint training missions of up to several weeks duration. The Government of India
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

 rebuilt the Ayni Air Base, a military airport located 15 km southwest of Dushanbe, at a cost of $70 million, completing the repairs in September 2010. It is now the main base of the Tajikistan air force. There have been talks with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 concerning use of the Ayni facility, and Russia continues to maintain a large base on the outskirts of Dushanbe and operate at least one military hospital in the capital city.

In 2010, there were concerns among Tajik officials that Islamic militarism in the east of the country was on the rise following the escape of 25 militants from a Tajik prison in August, an ambush that killed 28 Tajik soldiers in the Rasht Valley
Rasht Valley
The Rasht Valley is located in Tajikistan and composes a significant portion of the Region of Republican Subordination, including the six districts of Jirgatol, Rasht, Roghun, Tavildara, Tajikobod and Nurabad. Historically the Rasht Valley has been called Karotegin or Karategin...

 in September, and another ambush in the valley in October that killed 30 soldiers, followed by fighting outside Gharm that left 3 militants dead. To date the country's Interior Ministry asserts that the central government maintains full control over the country's east, and the military operation in the Rasht Valley was concluded in November 2010.

Politics


Almost immediately after independence, Tajikistan was plunged into a civil war
Tajikistan Civil War
The Civil War in Tajikistan began in May 1992 when ethnic groups from the Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan regions, which were underrepresented in the ruling elite, rose up against the national government of President Rahmon Nabiyev, in which people from the Leninabad and Kulyab regions dominated...

 that saw various factions, allegedly backed by Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, 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
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

just before the country's November 2006 presidential election.

Tajikistan is officially a republic, and holds elections for the Presidency and Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

. It is, however, a one party dominant system
Dominant-party system
A dominant-party system, or one-party dominant system, is a system where there is "a category of parties/political organizations that have successively won election victories and whose future defeat cannot be envisaged or is unlikely for the foreseeable future." A wide range of parties have been...

, where the People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan
People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan
The People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan is a political party in Tajikistan. It is the ruling party, and is led by Emomalii Rahmon, the current President of Tajikistan. At the last legislative elections, 27 February and 13 March 2005 , the party won 74% of the popular vote and 52 out of 63 seats...

 routinely has a vast majority in Parliament. The parliamentary elections in 2005 aroused many accusations from opposition parties and international observers that President Emomali Rahmon corruptly manipulates the election process. The most recent elections, in February 2010, saw the ruling PDPT lose 4 seats in Parliament, yet still maintain a comfortable majority. OSCE 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
Islamic Renaissance Party
There was a number of movements knowns as Islamic Renaissance Party, the best known being the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan....

. 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.

Administrative divisions


Tajikistan consists of 4 administrative divisions. These are the provinces (viloyat) of Sughd
Sughd
Sughd Province is one of the four administrative divisions and one of the three provinces that make up Tajikistan. Centered in the historical Sogdiana, it is located in the northwest of the country, with an area of some 25,400 square kilometers and a population of 2,132,100 , up from 1,870,000...

 and Khatlon
Khatlon
Khatlon Province , sometimes misspelt Khatlan, one of the three provinces of Tajikistan and is the most populous of the four first level administrative regions. It is situated in the southwest of the country, between the Hisor Range in the north and the Panj River in the south and borders on...

, the autonomous province of Gorno-Badakhshan
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province is an autonomous, mountainous province in the east of Tajikistan. Located in the Pamir Mountains, it makes up 45% of the land area of the country but only 3% of the population....

 (abbreviated as GBAO), and the Region of Republican Subordination
Region of Republican Subordination
Districts of Republican Subordination is a region in Tajikistan, consisting of 13 districts which are directly under central rule.-History:...

 (RRP – Raiony Respublikanskogo Podchineniya in transliteration
Romanization of Russian
Romanization of the Russian alphabet is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic alphabet into the Latin alphabet...

 from Russian or NTJ – Ноҳияҳои тобеи ҷумҳурӣ in Tajik
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

; formerly known as Karotegin Province). Each region is divided into several districts , which in turn are subdivided into jamoats (village-level self-governing units) and then villages (qyshloqs). As of 2006, there were 58 districts and 367 jamoats in Tajikistan.
Division ISO 3166-2
ISO 3166-2
ISO 3166-2 is part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , and defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1...

 
Capital Area (km²) Pop (2008)
Sughd
Sughd
Sughd Province is one of the four administrative divisions and one of the three provinces that make up Tajikistan. Centered in the historical Sogdiana, it is located in the northwest of the country, with an area of some 25,400 square kilometers and a population of 2,132,100 , up from 1,870,000...

TJ-SU Khujand
Khujand
Khujand , also transliterated as Khudzhand, , formerly Khodjend or Khodzhent until 1936 and Leninabad until 1991, is the second-largest city of Tajikistan. It is situated on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley...

 
25,400 2,132,100
Region of Republican Subordination
Region of Republican Subordination
Districts of Republican Subordination is a region in Tajikistan, consisting of 13 districts which are directly under central rule.-History:...

TJ-RR Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

 
28,600 1,606,900
Khatlon
Khatlon
Khatlon Province , sometimes misspelt Khatlan, one of the three provinces of Tajikistan and is the most populous of the four first level administrative regions. It is situated in the southwest of the country, between the Hisor Range in the north and the Panj River in the south and borders on...

TJ-KT Qurghonteppa
Qurghonteppa
Qurghonteppa or Kurganteppa is a city in southwestern Tajikistan. It is the capital of the Khatlon region and it is located 100 km from Dushanbe. It is estimated that the population of the city is close to 85,000 people, making it the third-largest city in the country. The population...

 
24,800 2,579,300
Gorno-Badakhshan
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province is an autonomous, mountainous province in the east of Tajikistan. Located in the Pamir Mountains, it makes up 45% of the land area of the country but only 3% of the population....

TJ-BG Khorugh  64,200 218,000

Geography




Tajikistan is landlocked, and is the smallest nation in Central Asia by area. It lies mostly between latitudes 36°
36th parallel north
The 36th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 36 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 41° N
41st parallel north
The 41st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 41 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

 (a small area is north of 41°), and longitudes 67°
67th meridian east
The meridian 67° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 75° E
75th meridian east
The meridian 75° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 (a small area is east of 75°). It is covered by mountains of the Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

 range, and more than fifty percent of the country is over 3000 metres (9,842.5 ft) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. The only major areas of lower land are in the north (part of the Fergana Valley
Fergana Valley
The Fergana Valley or Farghana Valley is a region in Central Asia spreading across eastern Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Divided across three subdivisions of the former Soviet Union, the valley is ethnically diverse, and in the early 21st century was the scene of ethnic conflict...

), and in the southern Kofarnihon
Kofarnihon River
Kofarnihon River or Kofirnihan is one of the major tributaries of Amudarya...

 and Vakhsh
Vakhsh River
The Vakhsh has been intensively developed for human use. Electricity, aluminum, and cotton are the mainstays of Tajikistan’s economy, and the Vakhsh is involved with all three of these sectors. Hydroelectricity provides 91% of the country’s electricity as of 2005, and 90% of that total comes from...

 river valleys, which form the Amu Darya. Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

 is located on the southern slopes above the Kofarnihon valley.
Mountain Height Location
Ismoil Somoni Peak (highest) 7,495 m 24,590 ft North-western edge of Gorno-Badakhshan (GBAO), south of the Kyrgyz
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 border
Ibn Sina Peak (Lenin Peak
Lenin Peak
Lenin Peak , rises to in Gorno-Badakhshan on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and is the second-highest point of both countries. It is considered one of the easiest 7,000 m peaks in the world to climb and it has by far the most ascents of any 7,000 m or higher peak on earth, with every...

)
7,134 m 23,537 ft Northern border in the Trans-Alay Range
Trans-Alay Range
The Trans-Alay Range is the northernmost range of the Pamir Mountains , where the Pamirs and the Tian Shan come together. They form the border between Osh Province, Kyrgyzstan and Gorno-Badakshan province, Tajikistan. To the north is the Alay Valley and to the south, the Muksu River. The highest...

, north-east of Ismoil Somoni Peak
Peak Korzhenevskaya
Peak Korzhenevskaya
Peak Korzhenevskaya is the third highest peak in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. It is one of the five "Snow Leopard Peaks" in the territory of theformer Soviet Union. It is named after Evgenia Korzhenevskaya, the wife of Russiangeographer Nikolai L...

7,105 m 23,310 ft North of Ismoil Somoni Peak, on the south bank of Muksu River
Muksu River
The Muksu River is a west-flowing river in north-central Gorno-Badakhshan province, Tajikistan. It is a tributary of the Vakhsh River which in turn is a tributary of the Amu Darya. The north side of its valley is the Trans-Alay Range and the south side is formed by the high mountains near the...

Independence Peak
Independence Peak
Independence Peak or Qullai Istiqlol , at , is the fourth highest peak in Pamir Mountains, located at the center of Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, above the source of Yazgulem River in the Yazgulem Range. The mountain consists of three snow and ice covered summits and its...

 (Revolution Peak)
6,974 m 22,881 ft Central Gorno-Badakhshan, south-east of Ismoil Somoni Peak
Akademiya Nauk Range
Akademiya Nauk Range
Akademiya Nauk Range is a mountain range in the Western Pamirs of Tajikistan. It is stretched in the meridianal direction and considered to be the core of the Pamir mountain system....

6,785 m 22,260 ft North-western Gorno-Badakhshan, stretches in the north-south direction
Karl Marx Peak
Karl Marx Peak
Karl Marx Peak rises to in the Shakhdara Range in Pamir Mountains, in the south-west of Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province , near Panj River on the border with Afghanistan. The highest summit in the Shakhdara Range, it was discovered and named in 1937 by Soviet geologist and...

6,726 m 22,067 ft GBAO, near the border to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in the northern ridge of the Karakoram Range
Garmo Peak 6,595 m 21,637 ft Northwestern Gorno-Badakhstan.
Mayakovskiy Peak
Mayakovskiy Peak
Mayakovskiy Peak is a peak in Pamir Mountains, in the extreme south-west corner of Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province , where the north-south Ishkoshim Range joins the east-west Shakhdara Range. Elevation 6,096 m. Discovered in the early 1930s by Soviet explorer Luknitskiy, who gave...

6,096 m 20,000 ft Extreme south-west of GBAO, near the border to Afghanistan.
Concord Peak
Concord Peak
Concord Peak is a mountain of the Pamirs, on the Afghan-Tajik border, about south of Lake Zorkul....

5,469 m 17,943 ft Southern border in the northern ridge of the Karakoram Range
Kyzylart Pass
Kyzylart Pass
Kyzylart Pass is a mountain pass and border crossing in the Trans-Alay Range on the border of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.The highest point is 4,280 m . The pass is crossed by a road. Throughout the area, the land is typically rugged and dry....

4,280 m 14,042 ft Northern border in the Trans-Alay Range
Trans-Alay Range
The Trans-Alay Range is the northernmost range of the Pamir Mountains , where the Pamirs and the Tian Shan come together. They form the border between Osh Province, Kyrgyzstan and Gorno-Badakshan province, Tajikistan. To the north is the Alay Valley and to the south, the Muksu River. The highest...



The Amu Darya
Amu Darya
The Amu Darya , also called Oxus and Amu River, is a major river in Central Asia. It is formed by the junction of the Vakhsh and Panj rivers...

 and Panj
Panj River
The Panj River , also known as Pyandzh River or Piandj River , is a tributary of the Amu Darya. The river is 1,125 km long and forms a considerable part of the Afghanistan - Tajikistan border....

 rivers mark the border with Afghanistan, and the glaciers in Tajikistan's mountains are the major source of runoff for the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was a lake that lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south...

. There are over 900 rivers in Tajikistan longer than 10 kilometers.
About 2% of the country's area is covered by lakes, the best known of which are the following:
  • Kayrakum (Qairoqqum) Reservoir
    Ghafurov district
    Ghafurov District or Nohiya-i Ghafurov is a district in the northern part of Sughd province, Tajikistan. Its capital is Ghafurov, a town in the south of the district...

     (Sughd
    Sughd
    Sughd Province is one of the four administrative divisions and one of the three provinces that make up Tajikistan. Centered in the historical Sogdiana, it is located in the northwest of the country, with an area of some 25,400 square kilometers and a population of 2,132,100 , up from 1,870,000...

    )
  • Iskanderkul
    Iskanderkul
    Iskanderkul — a mountain lake of glacial origin in Tajikistan's Sughd Province. Located at an altitude of 2,195 m on the northern slopes of Gissar Range in the Fann Mountains. Triangular in shape, it has a surface area of 3.4 km2 and is up to 72 m deep...

     (Fann Mountains
    Fann Mountains
    Fann Mountains are part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system and are located in Tajikistan's Sughd Province between the Zeravshan Range to the north and the Gissar Range to the south...

    )
  • Kulikalon
    Fann Mountains
    Fann Mountains are part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system and are located in Tajikistan's Sughd Province between the Zeravshan Range to the north and the Gissar Range to the south...

     (Kul-i Kalon) (Fann Mountains
    Fann Mountains
    Fann Mountains are part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system and are located in Tajikistan's Sughd Province between the Zeravshan Range to the north and the Gissar Range to the south...

    )
  • Nurek Reservoir
    Nurek Dam
    The Nurek Dam is an earth fill embankment dam on the Vakhsh River in the central Asian nation of Tajikistan. Construction of the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1980, when Tajikistan was still a republic within the Soviet Union. At it is currently the tallest dam in the world...

     (Khatlon
    Khatlon
    Khatlon Province , sometimes misspelt Khatlan, one of the three provinces of Tajikistan and is the most populous of the four first level administrative regions. It is situated in the southwest of the country, between the Hisor Range in the north and the Panj River in the south and borders on...

    )
  • Karakul ' onMouseout='HidePop("34282")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Pamir_Mountains">Pamir
    Pamir Mountains
    The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

    )
  • Sarez
    Sarez Lake
    -External links:****...

     (Pamir
    Pamir Mountains
    The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

    )
  • Shadau Lake (Pamir
    Pamir Mountains
    The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

    )
  • Zorkul
    Zorkul
    Zorkul is a lake in the Pamir Mountains that runs along the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It extends east to west for about 25 km. The Afghan-Tajik border runs along the lake from east to west, turning south towards Concord Peak , about 15 km south of the lake. The lake's northern...

     (Pamir
    Pamir Mountains
    The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

    )


Lesser known lakes (all in the Pamir region
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

) include
  • Bulunkul
  • Drumkul
  • Rangkul
  • Sasykkul
  • Shorkul
  • Turumtaikul
  • Tuzkul
  • Yashilkul

Economy


Tajikistan was the poorest republic of the Soviet Union and is the poorest country in Central Asia as well as in the former Soviet Union today. The current economic situation remains fragile, largely owing to corruption
Corruption
Corruption usually refers to spiritual or moral impurity.Corruption may also refer to:* Corruption , an American crime film* Corruption , a British horror film...

, uneven economic reforms, and economic mismanagement. With foreign revenue precariously dependent upon remittances from migrant workers overseas, exports of aluminium and cotton, the economy is highly vulnerable to external shocks. In FY 2000, international assistance remained an essential source of support for rehabilitation programs that reintegrated former civil war combatants into the civilian economy, thus helping keep the peace. International assistance also was necessary to address the second year of severe drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

 that resulted in a continued shortfall of food production.

In 2006, GDP per capita of Tajikistan was 85% of 1990s level., while population has increased from 5.3 million in 1991 to 7.3 million in 2009.

On August 21, 2001, the Red Cross announced that a famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 was striking Tajikistan, and called for international aid for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. Tajikistan's economy grew substantially after the war. The GDP of Tajikistan expanded at an average rate of 9.6% over the period of 2000–2007 according to the World Bank data. This improved Tajikistan's position among other Central Asian countries (namely Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 and Uzbekistan), which seem to have degraded economically ever since.
Tajikistan is an active member of the Economic Cooperation Organization
Economic Cooperation Organization
The Economic Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization involving seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, part of the South-central Asian Union. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc...

 (ECO).

The recently completed Anzab tunnel which connects the previously hard to access Northern part of the country to the capital Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

 has been labeled as part of the new Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

. It is part of a road under construction that will connect Tajikistan to Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 through Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

.

A new bridge between Afghanistan and Tajikistan has been built which will help the country have access to trade lines with South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. The bridge was built by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

The primary sources of income in Tajikistan are aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 production, cotton growing and remittances from migrant workers.

Aluminium industry is represented by the state-owned Tajik Aluminum Company - the biggest aluminium plant in Central Asia and one of the biggest in the world.

Tajikistan's rivers, such as the Vakhsh
Vakhsh River
The Vakhsh has been intensively developed for human use. Electricity, aluminum, and cotton are the mainstays of Tajikistan’s economy, and the Vakhsh is involved with all three of these sectors. Hydroelectricity provides 91% of the country’s electricity as of 2005, and 90% of that total comes from...

 and the Panj
Panj River
The Panj River , also known as Pyandzh River or Piandj River , is a tributary of the Amu Darya. The river is 1,125 km long and forms a considerable part of the Afghanistan - Tajikistan border....

, have great hydropower potential, and the government has focused on attracting investment for projects for internal use and electricity exports. Tajikistan is home to the Nurek
Nurek Dam
The Nurek Dam is an earth fill embankment dam on the Vakhsh River in the central Asian nation of Tajikistan. Construction of the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1980, when Tajikistan was still a republic within the Soviet Union. At it is currently the tallest dam in the world...

, the highest dam in the world. Lately, Russia's RAO UES energy giant has been working on the Sangtuda-1 hydroelectric power station (670 MW capacity) commenced operations on 18 January 2008. Other projects at the development stage include Sangtuda-2 by Iran, Zerafshan by the Chinese company SinoHydro, and the Rogun power plant
Rogun Dam
Rogun Dam is an under construction dam on the Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan. It is one of the planned hydroelectric power plants of Vakhsh Cascade. If finished, it would be the world's tallest dam with a height of height compared to the second tallest dam Nurek Dam at . -History:The Rogun...

 that, at a projected height of 335 metres (1,099 ft), would supersede the Nurek Dam as highest in the world if it is brought to completion Other energy resources include sizable coal deposits and smaller reserves of natural gas and petroleum.


Foreign remittance flows from Tajik migrant workers abroad, mainly in Russia, has become by far the main source of income for millions of Tajikistan's people and represents additional 36.2 % of country's GDP directly reaching the poverty-stricken population. According to some estimates about 20% of the population lives on less than US$1.25 per day. Migration from Tajikistan and the consequent remittances have been unprecedented in their magnitude and economic impact. Tajikistan has achieved transition from a planned to a market economy without substantial and protracted recourse to aid (of which it by now receives only negligible amounts), and by purely market-based means, simply by exporting its main commodity of comparative advantage — cheap labor. The World Bank Tajikistan Policy Note 2006 concludes that remittances have played an important role as one of the drivers of Tajikistan's robust economic growth during the past several years, have increased incomes, and as a result helped significantly reduce poverty.

Drug trafficking is the major illegal source of income in Tajikistan as it is an important transit country for Afghan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; some opium poppy
Opium poppy
Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the species of plant from which opium and poppy seeds are extracted. Opium is the source of many opiates, including morphine , thebaine, codeine, papaverine, and noscapine...

 is also raised locally for the domestic market. However with the increasing assistance from international organizations, such as UNODC, and cooperation with the US, Russian, EU and Afghan authorities a level of progress on the fight against illegal drug-trafficking is being achieved.

Tajikistan holds third place in the world for heroin and raw opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 confiscations (1216.3 kg of heroin and 267.8 kg of raw opium in the first half of 2006). Drug money corrupts the country's government; according to some experts the well-known personalities that fought on both sides of the civil war and have held the positions in the government after the armistice was signed are now involved in the drug trade. UNODC is working with Tajikistan to strengthen border crossings, provide training, and set up joint interdiction teams. It also helped to establish Tajikistani Drug Control Agency.

Since the collapse of the USSR, there has been a significant and growing trend of Tajiks migrating abroad for jobs and seeking refuge. In 2010, remittances from Tajik labour migrants totaled an estimated 2.1 billion US dollars, an increase from 2009.

Demographics


Tajikistan has a population of 7,349,145 (July 2009 est.) Tajiks who speak the Tajik language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 (a variety of Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

) are the main ethnic group, although there is a sizable minority of Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 and Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

, whose numbers are declining due to emigration. In 1989, ethnic Russians made up 7.6% of the population. The Pamiris
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

 of Badakhshan
Badakhshan
Badakhshan is an historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor...

 are considered to belong to the larger group of Tajiks. All citizens of Tajikistan are called Tajiks.
The official and vernacular language of Tajikistan is Tajik
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 although Russian is routinely used in business and communication. The use of Russian in official documents has been ruled out in 2009 although the Constitution still mentions it as the "language for inter-ethnic communication".

Despite its poverty, Tajikistan has a high rate of literacy due to the old Soviet system of free education, with an estimated 99.5% of the population having the ability to read and write. The majority of the population follow Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

. There is also a sizeable minority of Ismailis.

Bukharan Jews
Bukharan Jews
Bukharan Jews, also Bukharian Jews or Bukhari Jews, or яҳудиёни Бухоро Yahūdieni Bukhoro , Bukhori Hebrew Script: יהודיאני בוכאראי and יהודיאני בוכארי), also called the Binai Israel, are Jews from Central Asia who speak Bukhori, a dialect of the Tajik-Persian language...

 had lived in Tajikistan since the 2nd century BC, but today almost none are left. There is also a small population of Yaghnobi people
Yaghnobi people
Yaghnobi people, or Yagnobian people, is the name of an isolated people who live in the Sughd province of Tajikistan in the valleys of the Yagnob, Kul and Varzob rivers. These are the last living relics of the great Sogdian nation that once inhabited most of Central Asia beyond the Oxus/Amu Darya...

 who have lived in the mountainous district of Sughd
Sughd
Sughd Province is one of the four administrative divisions and one of the three provinces that make up Tajikistan. Centered in the historical Sogdiana, it is located in the northwest of the country, with an area of some 25,400 square kilometers and a population of 2,132,100 , up from 1,870,000...

 Viloyat for many centuries. The German
History of Germans in Russia and the Soviet Union
The German minority in Russia and the Soviet Union was created from several sources and in several waves. The 1914 census puts the number of Germans living in Russian Empire at 2,416,290. In 1989, the German population of the Soviet Union was roughly 2 million. In the 2002 Russian census, 597,212...

 population in Tajikistan was 38,853 in 1979. Nearly one million Tajik men worked abroad in 2009.
More than 70% of the female population lives in villages where traditions still matter very much.

Health



Despite repeated efforts by the Tajik government to improve and expand health care, the system remains extremely underdeveloped and poor, with severe shortages of medical supplies. The state's Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare reported that 104,272 disabled people are registered in Tajikistan (2000). This group of people suffers most from poverty in Tajikistan. The government of Tajikistan and the World Bank considered activities to support this part of the population described in the World Bank's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper.
Public expenditure on health was at 1 % of the GDP in 2004.

In the early 2000s, there were 203 physicians per 100,000 people. Infant mortality was 59 for 1,000 live births in 2005.
Tajikistan is the only country in world where polio is on the increase. From zero cases in 2008 and 2009, 458 confirmed cases have been reported for 2010 (of 976 cases worldwide). A large part of the population have poor access to Health Care.

Culture


Historically, Tajiks and Persians come from very similar stock, speaking variants of the same language and are related as part of the larger group of Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

. The Tajik language
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 is the mother tongue of around 80% of the citizens of Tajikistan. The main urban centers in today's Tajikistan include Dushanbe
Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

 (the capital), Khujand
Khujand
Khujand , also transliterated as Khudzhand, , formerly Khodjend or Khodzhent until 1936 and Leninabad until 1991, is the second-largest city of Tajikistan. It is situated on the Syr Darya River at the mouth of the Fergana Valley...

, Kulob
Kulob
Kulob , also Kulab or Kulyab , is a city in Kulob district, Khatlon Province, Tajikistan. Located 203 km south-east of the capital Dushanbe on the Yakhsu River , it is one of the largest cities in the country Kulob , also Kulab or Kulyab , is a city in Kulob district, Khatlon Province, Tajikistan....

, Panjakent
Panjakent
Panjakent , also spelled Panjikent, Panjekent or Penjikent, is a city in the Sughd province of Tajikistan on the Zeravshan River, with a population of 33,000 . It was once an ancient town in Sogdiana...

 and Istaravshan. There are also Uzbek
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

, Kyrgyz and Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 minorities.

The Pamiri people
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

 of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province is an autonomous, mountainous province in the east of Tajikistan. Located in the Pamir Mountains, it makes up 45% of the land area of the country but only 3% of the population....

 in the southeast, bordering Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, though considered part of the Tajik ethnicity, nevertheless are distinct linguistically and culturally from most Tajiks. In contrast to the mostly Sunni Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 residents of the rest of Tajikistan, the Pamiris
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

 overwhelmingly follow the Ismaili
Ismaili
' is a branch of Shia Islam. It is the second largest branch of Shia Islam, after the Twelvers...

 sect of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, and speak a number of Eastern Iranian languages, including Shughni
Shughni
Shughni, Shighni is the commonly used but the short form of Shughnani, Shighnani may refer to:* Shughni language, spoken in Afghanistan and Tajikistan...

, Rushani
Rushani language
The Rushani language is a dialect of Shughni language, a Pamir language.-Literature:*Zarubin, I.I.. Bartangskie i rushanskie teksty i slovar. Moskva : Izd-vo Akademii nauk SSSR, 1937....

, Khufi
Khufi language
Khufi language is one of the Pamir languages of Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province. It is closely related to, and traditionally considered a dialect of, Shughni...

 and Wakhi
Wakhi language
Wakhi is an Indo-European language in the branch of Eastern Iranian language family and is intimately related to other Southeastern Iranian languages in the Pamir languages group.-Classification and Distribution:...

. Isolated in the highest parts of the Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

 Mountains, they have preserved many ancient cultural traditions and folk arts that have been largely lost elsewhere in the country.

The Yaghnobi people
Yaghnobi people
Yaghnobi people, or Yagnobian people, is the name of an isolated people who live in the Sughd province of Tajikistan in the valleys of the Yagnob, Kul and Varzob rivers. These are the last living relics of the great Sogdian nation that once inhabited most of Central Asia beyond the Oxus/Amu Darya...

 live in mountainous areas of northern Tajikistan. The estimated number of Yaghnobis is now about 25,000. Forced migrations in the 20th century decimated their numbers. They speak the Yaghnobi language
Yaghnobi language
The Yaghnobi language is a living East Iranian language . Yaghnobi is spoken in the upper valley of the Yaghnob River in the Zarafshan area of Tajikistan by the Yaghnobi people...

, which is the only direct modern descendant of the ancient Sogdian language
Sogdian language
The Sogdian language is a Middle Iranian language that was spoken in Sogdiana , located in modern day Uzbekistan and Tajikistan ....

.

Tajikistan artisans created the Dushanbe Tea House
Dushanbe Tea House
The Boulder Dushanbe Tea House was a gift from Mayor Maksud Ikramov of Dushanbe to the city of Boulder, Colorado.-History:The Dushanbe Teahouse was created as a gift to the city of Boulder, Colorado, from its sister city Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, in 1987. At the time Tajikistan was a...

, which was presented in 1988 as a gift to the sister city of Boulder, Colorado
Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is the county seat and most populous city of Boulder County and the 11th most populous city in the U.S. state of Colorado. Boulder is located at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of...

.

In 2010 a Tajik citizen Nilufar Sherzod became Miss United Nations, representing Tajik culture.

Education


2002-2005 public spending on education was 3.5 % of the GDP. According to a UNICEF-supported survey, about 25 percent of girls in Tajikistan fail to complete compulsory primary education because of poverty and gender bias, although literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 is generally high in Tajikistan.

Religion


Sunni Islam of the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 school is official religion in Tajikistan since 2009. Tajikistan considers itself a secular state
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

 with a Constitution providing for freedom of religion. The Government has declared two Islamic holidays, Id Al-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

 and Idi Qurbon, as state holidays. According to a 2009 U.S. State Department release, the population of Tajikistan is 98% Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, (approximately 95% Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 and 3% Shia). The remaining 2% of the population are followers of Russian Orthodoxy
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

, a variety of Protestant denominations, Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

, Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. A great majority of Muslims fast during Ramadan, although only about one third in the countryside and 10% in the cities observe daily prayer and dietary restrictions.

Relationships between religious groups are generally amicable, although there is some concern among mainstream Muslim leaders that minority religious groups undermine national unity. There is a concern for religious institutions becoming active in the political sphere. The Islamic Renaissance Party
Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan
The Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan is an Islamist political party in Tajikistan. It is the only legal Islamist party in Central Asia...

 (IRP), a major combatant in the 1992–1997 Civil War
Tajikistan Civil War
The Civil War in Tajikistan began in May 1992 when ethnic groups from the Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan regions, which were underrepresented in the ruling elite, rose up against the national government of President Rahmon Nabiyev, in which people from the Leninabad and Kulyab regions dominated...

 and then-proponent of the creation of an Islamic state in Tajikistan, constitutes no more than 30% of the government by statute. Membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni. pan-Islamic political organisation but keeps it open for all including shias,some of its beliefs are against sunni school of thought, whose goal is for all Muslim countries to unify as an Islamic state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph...

 (Party of Emancipation), a party, controversial for its antisemitic views, which today aims for a nonviolent overthrow of secular governments and the unification of Tajiks under one Islamic state, is illegal and members are subject to arrest and imprisonment. Numbers of large mosques appropriate for Friday prayers are limited and some feel this is discriminatory.

By law, religious communities must register by the State Committee on Religious Affairs (SCRA) and with local authorities. Registration with the SCRA requires a charter, a list of 10 or more members, and evidence of local government approval prayer site location. As noted above, religious groups who do not have a physical structure are not allowed to gather publicly for prayer. Failure to register can result in large fines and closure of place of worship
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

. There are reports that registration on the local level is sometimes difficult to obtain.

Sport


Tajikistan's mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hill climbing
Hill climbing
In computer science, hill climbing is a mathematical optimization technique which belongs to the family of local search. It is an iterative algorithm that starts with an arbitrary solution to a problem, then attempts to find a better solution by incrementally changing a single element of the solution...

, biking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

, rock climbing
Rock climbing
Rock climbing also lightly called 'The Gravity Game', is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling...

, skiing
Skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

, hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

, and mountain climbing. Facilities are limited so tourists must expect to be largely self-sufficient and plan carefully. Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Fann
Fann Mountains
Fann Mountains are part of the western Pamir-Alay mountain system and are located in Tajikistan's Sughd Province between the Zeravshan Range to the north and the Gissar Range to the south...

 and Pamir Mountains
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

, including the 7,000 m peaks in the region, are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies.

Football is the most popular sport in Tajikistan. The Tajikistan national football team
Tajikistan national football team
The Tajikistan national football team represents Tajikistan in association football and is controlled by the Tajikistan National Football Federation, the governing body for football in Tajikistan. Tajikistan's home ground is Pamir Stadium in Dushanbe....

 competes in the FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 and AFC
Asian Football Confederation
The Asian Football Confederation is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. However, due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, nations such as Russia and Turkey which are located mostly in geographic Asia are...

 leagues. It also hosts many football clubs.

Government


Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Government
  • Pres. Emomali RAHMON
  • Prime Min. Oqil OQILOV
  • Dep. Prime Min. Murodali ALIMARDON
  • Dep. Prime Min. Asadullo GHULOMOV
  • Dep. Prime Min. Ruqiya QURBANOVA
  • Min. of Agriculture Qosim QOSIMOV
  • Min. of Culture Mirzoshohrukh ASRORI
  • Min. of Defense Sherali KHAYRULLOYEV, Col. Gen.
  • Min. of Economic Development & Trade Farrukh HAMRALIEV
  • Min. of Education Abdujabbor RAHMONOV
  • Min. of Energy & Industry Sherali GUL
  • Min. of Finance Safarali NAJMUDDINOV
  • Min. of Foreign Affairs Hamrokhon ZARIFI
  • Min. of Health Nusratullo SALIMOV
  • Min. of Internal Affairs Abdurahim QAHOROV
  • Min. of Justice Bakhtiyor KHUDOYOROV
  • Min. of Labor & Social Security Shukhurjon ZUHOROV
  • Min. of Land Reclamation & Water Resources Rahmat BOBOKALONOV
  • Min. of Transport & Communications Olimjon BOBOEV
  • Chmn., State Committee on National Security Khayridin ABDURAHIMOV
  • Chmn., State Committee on State Property Davlatali SAIDOV
  • Chmn., State Committee on Statistics Mirgand SHABOZOV
  • Prosecutor Gen. Sherhon SALIMZODA
  • Dir., Drug Control Agency Rustam NAZAROV, Lt. Gen.
  • Chmn., National Bank Sharif RAHIMZODA
  • Ambassador to the US Abdujabbor SHIRINOV
  • Permanent Representative to the UN, New York Sirojidin ASLOV

Transport


See also


  • 2006 Tajikistan earthquake
  • Central Asian Union
    Central Asian Union
    A Central Asian Union was proposed by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on April 26, 2007, in order to create an economic and political union similar to that of the EU encompassing the five former Soviet Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and...

  • Communications in Tajikistan
    Communications in Tajikistan
    The conventional telephone system is in poor condition because it has received little investment in the post-Soviet era. As of 2007 there were 340,000 telephone lines in use, a ratio of one per 21 people. Many towns are not connected to the national network. In the early 2000s, the state...

  • Ittihodi Scouthoi Tojikiston
    Ittihodi Scouthoi Tojikiston
    The Ittihodi Scouthoi Tojikiston , the national Scouting organization of Tajikistan, was founded in 1993, and became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement on April 18, 1997. The coeducational Ittihodi Scouthoi Tojikiston has 511 members as of 2011...

  • Kingdom of Balhara
    Kingdom of Balhara
    Kingdom of Balhara is a controversial hypothesis of some Bulgarian scientists to have been the earliest known state of the ancient Bulgars, situated in the upper course of Oxus River , and the foothills and valleys of Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains...

  • List of cities in Tajikistan
  • List of universities in Tajikistan
  • Military of Tajikistan
    Military of Tajikistan
    Tajikistan's armed forces consist of Land Forces, Mobile Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Presidential National Guard, and Security Forces...

  • Mount Imeon
    Mount Imeon
    Mount Imeon is an ancient name for the Central Asian complex of mountain ranges comprising the present Hindu Kush, Pamir and Tian Shan, extending from the Zagros Mountains in the southwest to the Altay Mountains in the northeast, and linked to the Kunlun, Karakoram and Himalayas to the southeast...

  • Yagnob Valley
    Yagnob Valley
    Yagnob Valley North West Tajikistan, is situated between the southern slope of the Zarafshan Range and the northern slope of the Gissar Range. The valley is formed by the Yagnob River and belongs to the Zarafshan basin...



Further reading

  • Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan by Kamoludin Abdullaev and Shahram Akbarzadeh
  • Land Beyond the River: The Untold Story of Central Asia by Monica Whitlock
  • Tajikistan: Disintegration or Reconciliation by Shirin Akiner
    Shirin Akiner
    Shirin Akiner is a lecturer in Central Asian Studies at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies . She produced many scholarly works, particularly on Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and is a member of editorial and advisory board of Journal of Central Asian and Caucasian Studies...

  • Tajikistan: The Trials of Independence by Shirin Akiner
    Shirin Akiner
    Shirin Akiner is a lecturer in Central Asian Studies at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies . She produced many scholarly works, particularly on Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and is a member of editorial and advisory board of Journal of Central Asian and Caucasian Studies...

    , Mohammad-Reza Djalili and Frederic Grare
  • Tajikistan and the High Pamirs by Robert Middleton, Huw Thomas and Markus Hauser, Odyssey Books, Hong Kong 2008 (ISBN 978-9-622177-73-4)

External links


Government

Media