VIF Virtual talk on ‘India-Tajikistan Relations’ by Amb. Viraj Singh, Indian Ambassador to Tajikistan
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India and Tajikistan are traditional partners. They share deep historical and cultural relations. Tajikistan was a part of the Kushana and Persian Empire, which had close cultural linkages with India. Subsequently, during the Islamic rule in India, the Persian language and Sufism from this region got assimilated into Indian society. It has become the foundation of cultural and linguistic cooperation in modern times. Tajikistan’s strategic location makes it significant for India’s Central Asia policy. It is regarded as India's ‘Gateway to Central Asia.’ The Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip in Afghanistan divides India from Tajikistan. The convergence of economic, cultural, and security interests has enhanced cooperation in recent years. Consecutive visits from both sides have also accelerated the momentum of bilateral diplomatic and political relations.

In order to assess the dynamics of the India-Tajikistan relations, Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) organized a Virtual Talk on this subject by Amb. Viraj Singh, Indian Ambassador to Dushanbe on Monday, July 26, 2021, 11:30-1300 Hrs. In his opening remarks, Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director VIF has pointed out the strategic significance of Tajikistan in context of evolving situation in Afghanistan. Amb Viraj Singh has given an insightful presentation on India’s relations with Tajikistan along with underscoring other geopolitical factors affecting the bilateral ties.

During his presentation, it was brought out that the India-Tajikistan relations are below the potential. However, there has been intensification in efforts to enhance the bilateral cooperation post PM Modi’s visit to the county in 2015. But, there are still many challenges which need to be deal with more focus and commitment. Absence of direct connectivity and low volume of trade and investments are two major issues. There was an emphasis on enhancing Indian investments in the country. The most promising sector is pharmaceutical and tourism. The rising instability in Afghanistan is another matter of concern for both the countries. The situation is expected to get more unsettling. A convergence of interest in this context presents both countries with opportunities to enhance the defence and security cooperation.

The dialogue generated good interest, and there were many points of discussion.

Event Date 
July 26, 2021

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