Friday 26 December 2008
November 11, 2008
Should Afghanistan Talk To The Taliban?
Delegates from Central and South Asia have gathered in Dushanbe today -- together with a senior official from the U.S. State Department -- for talks on how regional cooperation can improve Afghanistan's security situation. Hosted by Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon, the gathering includes representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
November 10, 2008
Tajik Students Returning From Cotton Harvest
Tajik students have begun returning from the cotton harvest, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. The cotton-harvest season takes place from September-November each year and many thousands of Tajik university and secondary-school students are obligated to leave school and participate in the harvest.
November 09, 2008
In Unusual Effort, Tajik Clerics Target 'Imported' Hijabs
In an unprecedented move, Tajikistan’s Council of Islamic Clerics has called on Tajik women to swap their “foreign-made" hijabs for traditional Tajik clothes. Some Tajiks say the independent religious body has obviously come under government pressure to join its ongoing campaign against the Islamic head scarf.
November 07, 2008
Obama Victory Sparks Hopes For Change In U.S. Policy In Central Asia
During the Soviet era, America and freedom were synonymous for many in the Soviet Union and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain. That feeling increased even more after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Central Asians welcomed their independence as mainly the result of the successful standoff between the Free World led by the United States, and the Totalitarian World led by the Soviet Union. But the "pragmatism" of U.S. policy has left many hoping such idealism will return to how Washington approaches Central Asia.
October 30, 2008
Tajiks Fear Another Cold Winter Lies Ahead
Last year, Tajikistan experienced the harshest winter in living memory, compounded by severe shortages of gas and electricity. The government has assured the public it won't happen again, but many are unconvinced, as strict electricity rationing has begun even before the first snowfall.
October 29, 2008
Is Media Freedom in Tajikistan Real, Or Just Relative?
Reporters Without Borders recently ranked Tajikistan in its 2008 Press Freedom Index as having the highest level of media freedom among the five Central Asian states. But Salimjon Aioubov of RFE/RL's Tajik Service argues that this is more indicative of less freedom in the region than improvement in Tajikistan.
October 22, 2008
Central Asians Hammer Out Water, Energy Deal
Central Asia saw extreme cold last winter and parched fields this summer, suggesting that its five republics have added incentive to work together to share energy and water resources. But it is too early to regard the successful completion of recent talks as a sign of durable progress.
October 18, 2008
Tajikistan Enlists Clerics To Raise Awareness
Islamic clerics in Tajikistan have been asked to use their influence with the country's youth to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and spread the word about safe sex. While some mullahs are going along with the program, others say it's a step too far.