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Calls Made For Tajik Islamic Party To Be Declared Terror Group

DUSHANBE -- A call for the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) to be branded a terrorist organization has been made at a conference in Dushanbe.

Rahim Karimov, a professor at Dushanbe's Islamic University, urged young Tajiks on April 2 to start an initiative calling for the IRPT to be listed as a terrorist organization and shut down.

Karimov's call was made at a conference promoting cooperation with law enforcement officials in battling Islamic extremism.

The IRPT is the only Islamic party officially registered in post-Soviet Central Asia.

Karimov's call came six days after Imams in mosques across Tajikistan called on worshippers to demand a referendum be held on the IRPTs closure.

The imams' action followed President Emomali Rahmon publicly urging the country's intellectuals to outline a concept for the nation's development through 2050 that establishes a "democratic and secular country based on the rule of law."

The IRPT failed to gain a seat in parliament in March 1 elections marred by fraud allegations.