Defence Main Pillars of Partnership with Tajikistan, says PM Modi


On the final leg of his Central Asia tour, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Dushanbe in Tajikistan on July 13 where his Tajik counterpart Qohir Rasulzoda received him in a ceremonial welcome

On the final leg of his Central Asia tour, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Dushanbe in Tajikistan on July 13 where his Tajik counterpart Qohir Rasulzoda received him in a ceremonial welcome. “Tajikistan is nearest to India among all Central Asian countries. We are separated by a narrow corridor,” Modi said. “Our linguistic links are the closest in Central Asia.” This visit by Modi to Tajikistan is the last of the five-nation Central Asian tour “But, we sometimes save the special one for the last,” Modi said.

Later, Prime Minister Modi met Tajik President Emomali Rahmon with whom he had extensive discussions on measures to tap the rich potential in trade and commerce and to encourage joint ventures and investments. “We have tasked our Joint Commission to meet soon and finalise a concrete roadmap to expand our trade and economic ties,” Modi said in his press statement. A joint press statement termed the meeting between the two leaders as “warm and cordial.”

Two agreements were signed during the visit: The first for cooperation in the field of culture, and the second for setting up of computer labs in Tajikistan by India.

During the visit Modi attended the Workshop of Agriculture Cooperation in Dushanbe where he said that it was a “special” and the “most important” event he attended in his journey though the Central Asia. “As in the world of business, international partnerships can also be catalysts for the development of agriculture,” Modi said, and added that India’s own Green Revolution is visible and successful proof of that. In his speech at the workshop he also touched upon lack of arable land in Tajikistan, irrigation, climate change, credit support for farmers, space technology etc.

“[O]ur solutions and our experiences may be more relevant to Tajikistan than, perhaps, what more advanced nations may have to offer,” Modi said, “That is why our cooperation can be more fruitful for Tajikistan.”

Noting that rising trends of extremism and terrorism are posing a threat to India and Tajikistan, the leaders emphasized the need for adoption of the “Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism” by the UN General Assembly. Stable and secure environment, they agreed, are prerequisites for economic development and prosperity of their countries.

Modi and Rahmon decided to revive the framework of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism and instructed the JWG to meet at the earliest. “They emphasized the need for continued cooperation between their security agencies including information sharing mechanisms to counter the growing menace of extremism and terrorism,” stated the joint press release.

On defence cooperation the two leaders expressed satisfaction and said it “remains as the main pillars of partnership between the two countries.” Modi assured and Rahmon appreciated “India’s commitment to supporting the development of Tajikistan’s defence capacities to enhance stability and security” of the region.

The two leaders noted that, despite being neighbours, trade and economic linkages between India and Tajikistan “are not in keeping with their potential,” and said they are “committed to work together to overcome structural and functional issues hampering economic relations between the two countries.” The joint statement noted Tajikistan’s support for the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

Modi and Rahmon also stressed the importance of enhanced air connectivity between the two countries to facilitate trade and economic linkages as well as tourism and greater people-to-people interactions and have asked the authorities to find ways to increase the frequency of flights between the two countries.

The two leaders discussed energy, health, education and have identified food processing, mining, pharmaceuticals, textiles, skill development, science and technology, information technology, culture and tourism as promising areas for further cooperation. They “emphasised that the outcomes and understandings reached during the visit undoubtedly mark a milestone in the development of a long-term strategic partnership between the two countries.”

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