President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Speech at the 17th anniversary of State Independence

08.09.2008 13:00, Dushanbe city

Dear fellow citizens!
Honorable guests!
Distinguished audience!

Seventeen years ago the ancient, cultural and civilized Tajik nation gained a state independence-the holy historic event and now with the great honour and respect we are celebrating the chain of thousand years of statehood.

Along with national occasion, we are also celebrating 1150 anniversary of the founder of Tajik - Persian classic literature Abuabdullo Rudaki decided by UNESCO to celebrate in all over the world and the year of Tajik language, which is assembling the traditional culture of statehood with our modern sovereign nation.

I congratulate all Tajiks and Persians of the world and all honourable guests on the occasion of this festive event.

As compared with the history of old nations’ including Tajiks, seventeen years is not so more, but it could bring the changes in the destiny of the state and the way of its development. In the XXth century, during several years in the new process of world order a map of the world has been changed and were appeared numbers of sovereign and independent states - and Tajikistan is one of them. But that time in comparison with other former Soviet Union countries, condition and political situation of our country was different.

At the threshold of independence, because of internal disputes and political intrigues, that thousand years ago destroyed the Samani’s Empire, our country was brought into a civil war.

Due to untimely and wrong understanding of political, ideological goals and aims by some interested groups of foreign countries, also proper content and importance of ongoing difficult regional and international process, including the entrance of falsification of strangers by some group of inexperienced people in our country, the holly value of independence and national statehood, which is more valuable than any political or social and party interest, were destroyed.

Despite the efforts of group of strangers, internal negative forces and interested foreign groups, peaceful forces of our society have found the way to peace and stability and to national reconciliation, afterwards the life itself proved the correctness of this intention. People of Tajikistan witnessed the result of those bloody and tragic military confrontations and civil war.

Therefore exactly peace and national unity have a large value for us and its protection is a debt of honour of all people of the country.

To establish a peace and national unity, sustainable economic and social development, self-knowledge and patriotism in various strata of society was our utmost achievement during these seventeen years.

During this period, the recognition of history of our nation, its place and value in the overall development of history of the world, was the most important aims of the policy of our country, that policy of reconciliation of nation in the history of Tajik statehood, which showed us the new way of state building and statehood.

We therefore must always evaluate state independence and national reconciliation which is the eternal holiness and cherish as the apple of an eye.

Sovereignty of the state consists of normalizing of internal and external policy. Hence, from all the beginning of independence further to secure a peace and stability, achieve an agreement with opposition and national unity we had to create a new management of state affairs equitable to the interest of Tajik nation.

Learning the experience of world prosperous state building and state management, the historical facts, political events and national culture of state in various stage of our history, we have adopted the state symbols including Flag and National anthem, National guards and border troops were established, the Constitution of Republic of Tajikistan was adopted and head of democratic, sovereign and constitutional state was elected by nation wide votes.

According to a new Constitution the basics and social structures of the state as well as it governance in the new stage of statehood has been arranged, right and freedom and also main obligations of population were determined.

At the same time, the executive and legislative bodies of the state have been formed and the sovereign policy of the country was firmly established.

A new political step, strengthening of democracy and newly established economic relations gave us the opportunity to consolidate the further state foundation, economic and cultural progress and now we can confidently say, that we scored a success in this direction. One of the main and strategic aims of our government is providing with sovereign power industry, disaffiliation with communication isolation, food security and raising the living standard of the people.

Tajikistan has entered into a new phase of social and economic development, which demands a comprehensive approach and formation of one national development system.

The primary intent of this period is increasing of reconstructions in all necessary spheres of state, providing stable economic progress and by this way to reduce the number of low-income population.

In the result of government efforts within the framework of two documents of social and economic development of the country - “National Development Strategy of Republic of Tajikistan” till 2015 and Poverty Elimination Strategy for 2007-2009, a level of poverty is decreased from 64% in 2003 to 53%.

On the basis of mentioned programs, the government of Tajikistan puts the aim toward reducing poverty rate to 32% by 2015 and we will reach this goal.

Dear guests!

At the end of the XXth and beginning of the XXIst century geopolitical situation of the world has been changed. Under the globalization, in order to obtain the energy resources and raw materials by Great Powers, the escalation of confrontation and war has begun in different part of world.

These intentions are implemented during a period when the world oil resources are used and according to the report of experts, the countries of the world annually consume as much oil as natural sources had produced in two million years.

In this circumstance, of course, the need of our country to energy and other energy resources is rapidly growing and this process requires to take all measures for the development of energy sector and construction of small and big hydropower plants as a strategic direction of our state.

During last 16 years, there are more then five billion somoni had been consumed for the development of power industry. After the independence, “Pamir-1” hydro-power plant and 2 aggregates of “Sangtuda-1” have been put into operation and we are intending to use them next year.

At the present time, with mobilization of internal and external investment there 9 projects in amount of 1 billion 800 million somoni are under consideration.

Within the bound of this project a number of small power plants, like “Nurek”, “Kairokum”, and “Varzob” as well heating stations in Dushanbe and Yovon region will be finished in the near future. Along with this, “Sangtuda-2” and “Rogun” hydro power plants and some small hydropower stations under consideration.

During the independence we have constructed and gave to exploitation 120 small hydropower plants.

There 15 small power plants have been put into operation by beginning of September and furthermore, we expecting 10 more small hydro power plants be built by the end of this year.

Our main and strategic goal is energy supply of the country; provide the population with electricity and gas. Thereon, through the construction of electricity transmission line North-South we will create integrated power system in our country by 2009.

I would like to note that hydropower engineering is the main wealth of our country. And therefore, hydropower development is a very important for us. During 3 years we will make all efforts to secure energy independence of our country.

According to the report of the experts, Tajikistan subsoil has 3 trillion cubic metres of gas and 14 local and foreign companies had obtained Government licence for development works. Moreover, we have done some preparation for this winter it is expected that there are 4 towns and settlements in Khatlon region will be provided with natural gas this year.

The issue of providing population with it own gas during the 3-4 years is under the consideration. The works in this direction are in the process.

Tajikistan has 4 billion and 600 million tons of coal resources which takes up a visible place among the CIS countries. During the independence there 14 coal fields were given under the mine workings and they produced nearly 1,5 million tons of coal. At the present time, need of population, social establishments, and subjects of national economy will be provided with own coal.

Today, we are considering over the coal-fired heating system construction.

The other strategic aim of our government is to withdraw the country from communication isolation.

The population of Tajikistan is a witness, that there were no roads several years ago and because of it during the 6-7 months in one year there was no any communication between the regions.

In this regard, during 17 years of independence the railway Kurgan-Tube-Kulob was built. A numbers of bridges and new roads are under the constructions in all over the country, which will bond us with other countries.

Construction of Shohon-Zigar and Shkev-Zigar, Dushanbe- Chanak, Dushanbe-Saritosh highways, construction of Istiklol, Sharshar and Shakhristan tunnels give us an opportunity of constant and safe vehicular trafficking.

With the aim of facilitating favourable economic conditions, fuels and lubricants, delivering of cargoes and goods to the destination in shortest time, as well railway service sectors, a number of new projects are under consideration and studying. Construction of Vahdat-Yavan railway and modern air terminal in Dushanbe, which is being put in operation next year are also under consideration. As well as reconstruction of Kurgan-Tube-Pyandj, Dushanbe–Dangara, Dushanbe-Tursunzoda highways and construction of Chormagzak tunnel will be start on in a nearest year.

Realization of these projects in the shortest period of time will give us an opportunity to find a way out of communication isolation.

With the aim of increasing and expansion of economic sphere, industry, production of competitive qualified commodity, realization of new technology during the independent days a number of work have been done by the government of the country.

At the present time there more than 80 branches of productions of sovereign Tajikistan-nonferrous-metals industry, hydropower engineering, light and textile industry, producing of building materials, oil and gas, mechanical engineering, consumer goods and other spheres are increasing year by year.

In order to accelerate the industrial development of Tajikistan we have to use all our efforts to increase the import of new production techniques and technologies, processing of domestic raw materials, as well as create new jobs.

The third objective of the Government’s activity is to provide the country’s food security and increase the domestic food production volume.

Therefore, a number of concrete and practical measures are taken today to accelerate the development of agricultural sphere, effective use of lands, especially arable lands, and increase the productivity of agricultural field and industrial processing of products.

I would like to specially emphasize, that the reform in agrarian sector, providing farmers with land and developing small and medium entrepreneurship, including industrial entrepreneurship increased private share in a production of several agricultural products up to 90%.

The effective and purposeful land use, raising the level of crop yield, two-three crops getting per year and increase the food production volume, in fact one of the main ways to protect consumer market and to prevent the price rise of food-related products.

Only by raising the level of domestic crop yield and by being less dependent on imported goods, we can provide the country’s food security.

In order to provide the country’s food security, we have to envisage the sowing of the secondary crop in more than 160 thousand hectares of land and use every piece of land.

In order to solve the mentioned issues and provide the social and economic development of the country within the frames of different projects, attractions of foreign and domestic investments are the most important activities of the Government.

I would like to stress that within the framework of 200 joint investment projects there 15 billion somoni and 4 billion 400 million US dollars have been attracted after 1997.

This action is the call of new era, because at the beginning of the 21st century Tajik nation needs modern economy and production, meet the national statehood interests, implementing advanced new world economic, scientific and technological achievements, educating new generation with creative consciousness, modern knowledge and world-view, patriotism, who will serve for the future prosperous development of independent Tajikistan and protect the interests of the nation and the country in international arena.

Our young generation should have a sensible world-view, sense of self-knowledge and national dignity, up to date knowledge and good breeding and feelings of patriotism. Training of well-educated youth, well-versed in mother language and knowledge of new techniques and technologies are the main directions of the country’s policy.

In this connection, I would like to note that we have to direct all our intellectual opportunities to develop consciousness of children and young people, to make them educated and professional.

In the framework of these tasks, the Government of Tajikistan considers the development of education as one of its most priority directions of activity. During 17 years of independence, the financing of this sphere have been increased several times. As a result, today, technical conditions and educational process in secondary, professional and higher schools are much better.

In 1995, the financing of education field from the state budget made a total 1,5 million somoni. Today it has reached 700 million somoni, that foot up to 16% of the state budget. During the last eight years, state financing of education increased 16 times.

Alongside with the Governments efforts in the development of education one of the primary duties of the parents, representatives of the education authority, intelligentsia and public is to contribute to improving the quality and level of education, creating necessary conditions for younger generation, successors of today’s generation.

At the same time, the social policy of the Government is focused on the reform and development of the health care, social protection of the population, culture, upgrading woman’s status in society, intellectual and physical youth development.

We have reached desirable results in developing these fields during the independence. But we will not satisfy ourselves with these achievements and continue the effective implementation of governments’ policy in these directions.

It should be noted, that sport is the best way to maintain healthy life style. Thanks to the state independence and consistent Governments care the development of sport in the country have been accelerated. The achievements of Tajik sportsmen in international arena are the evidence of that saying.
Before the independence Tajikistan has only 10 world champions. Today their numbers increased up to 30.

Dear compatriots!

We have to always take into account that the development of our new national statehood is proceeding in a very complex and sensitive period of globalization and clashes of civilizations.

In such conditions, joining our predecessors struggle to achieve an independence with the creative efforts of new generation and protection of cultural and moral values of past and today is of vital and crucial importance.

We therefore consider it as our holy responsibility to honour the great sons of our nation, who have used all their will to found and enrich the spiritual fund of the nation. Ustod Rudaki is one of the great sons of our cultural and civilised nation. This year we will celebrate his 1150-th anniversary.

The founder of Tajik and Persian poetry Ustod Rudaki was always glorifying the golden period of our ancestor’s statehood – Somonis Empire. His eternal contribution even today inspires us in our efforts to create the national statehood in a new historical phase. In our nation’s historical pages it is imprinted that during Somonis statehood the great national cultural values were revived and name of Ustod Rudaki makes that history eternal.

Rudaki is the first Tajik and Persian literature poet. According to famous French poet Darmsteter by generalizing the experience and heritage of the ancestors, Rudaki has made poetry valuable and identified its further way of development.

This great Rudaki’s contribution prevents the spread of foreign cultures into the Somonis area provides real independence of literature in native language and demonstrated persistence and strength of Tajik word.

Ustod Rudaki has brought to perfection the form and structure of our poetry. He always pays a serious attention to the purity of language. Today his sweet and eternally viable language became the language of all people in Persian speaking area.

We can say for sure, that Rudaki`s name as a pioneer of the sweet & poetic Tajik language will live forever & his world-famous poetry will spark hearts of Tajiks & Persian-speaking people all over the world.

This year aiming protection & standing up for the purity of Tajik language & its thousands-year history at the time of increasing threats of globalization, as well as revival of the roots which unifies generations, establishment of the basis of our national state system & consolidation of the independence of our state, we implemented several events related to Tajik language.

The terrible menace of vanishing from the face of the earth & being forgotten by the history threatened several times to the Tajik nation during thousands years. But due to their native language, unique culture & national idea Tajik people managed to pass through these hardest historical tests. We therefore takle all measures in our state system to increase patriotic spirit & self-consciousness, maintain the atmosphere of peace & stability in society as well as consolidation of national unity.

We should remember that self-consciousness is not only veneration of our previous successes & literary, scientific & cultural heritage, but on the contrary, it must serve as a staunch moral basis for conscientious men of honor (intellectuals) to work out through conceivable analysis constructive & favorable objectives for the future decades.

Main demands of the times is an upbringing society to consciously apply national & religious values in everyday life of people & to protect Islam from attempts to smirch it as well as extremism & superstition.

Thanks to state independence, today, our people have necessary conditions & opportunities to observe all religious provisions & there is no obstacle to do it.

Peoples of Tajikistan, especially religious leaders & scholars must remember that as a result of distemper amongst Muslims of Tajikistan & radical spirit of some groups of believers, our nation passed through plenty of disasters & sorrows in 1992.

The ancient Land of Tajiks with thousands-year civilization is a place where a lot of outstanding men came into the world. Most of them collected the best knowledge from science & culture in their invaluable legacy. Their proceedings are the pride of mankind.

Today the historical proceedings of our outstanding men can still be used for the self-consciousness of the nation & to present Tajik people on the international level. It is therefore takes on a special significance in a Dialogue of Civilizations.

I would like to specially mention that over many centuries Tajiks have been constantly contributing into development of the Islamic civilization & culture.

Cognition of the history of Islam is impossible without learning & true estimating of Tajiks` role in its creation. From this point of view, it is a mistake to detach Islam from national culture & vice versa.

Unfortunately, some extremist & fundamentalist groups have recently appeared in our country & they try to separate national & Islamic values. Such approach may lead our society to hostilities, hatred national conflicts owing to religion. It is worth to remember that 97% of Tajikistan`s population is following Imam Abu Hanifa.

We are very proud that the founder of the largest & most influential group in Islam is a worthy & noble sun of the Tajik nation Imam Abu Hanifa Nu`man ibn Sabit famous as the Great Imam.

The history of Islam has proved that in learning & perceiving of Islamic Fikh (Muslim law) all in need of the school of thought founded by Abu Hanifa.

It is worth to note that because of devoted & selfless efforts of Fakih (Islamic lawyer) & thinker an originality & national values of Ajam peoples (non-Arab) were preserved.

It was him who made efforts for the Tajik language to become a language of worship service & among believers the Tajik language was recognized as a language of Paradise.

The Hanafiya maz`hab (school of thought) both from historical & practical points of view is an important factor of unity common to all mankind & maintaining stability & security in society. It`s his opinion that community of aims, words & proceedings of society members is a main condition of every nation`s existence & being.

In this regard, he says: “The Most Merciful God has sent His messenger not for disunity & discord, but as a mercy to overcome separation among people & disseminate friendship.”

Learning about such a personage for us Tajiks at the time of the nation`s self-consciousness process is of vital importance both on internal & international scale.

Taking into consideration historical deeds of the great spiritual educator of nations we propose to declare the year 2009 when 1310 years will pass from his birth, as a jubilee year of the Great Imam.

Dear participants,

Self-consciousness for us is an evaluation of our successes & failures in the state system & definition of our religious wealth aiming at forecasting the future & working out constructive plans for the long-term prospect.

Self-consciousness is a guiding compass for reaching true national values & originality as well as contributing to the creation of the Tajik`s state system & deserved life in civilized society.

Self-consciousness must serve for upbringing of teenagers & youth in patriotic spirit, national pride, loyalty to traditions & customs of ancestry, respect historical & cultural heritage as well as mankind values & growing them up as true protector of nation.

I therefore appeal to every citizen & all the peoples of Tajikistan who is not indifferent to honor & reputation of homeland for suitably estimating sovereignty & independence of our country, reached peace & stability in society, keep it as invaluable blessing & make all the efforts to protect it as vital interests of nation & state.

I am deeply confident that all citizens of Tajikistan as responsible patriots of their country will further consider the realization of noble & constructive objectives of homeland improvement as their civic duty. They will prove their devotion & adherence to the independent Tajikistan through everyday practical deeds for prosperity & development of the country.

In conclusion, I once again congratulate all nations of Tajikistan, all Tajiks & Persian-speaking nations of the world as well as all of you, distinguished participants, on the occasion of 17-th anniversary of our independence & 1150-th year anniversary of Rudaki & Year of Tajik Language.

Let`s pray the Most Merciful Allah in this day of Holy month of Ramazan to guide us to prosperity & future achievements!

Let holiness of national statehood, native language & unity be our helpmate to the civilized society & bright future!

Let supreme values of independence, constructive objectives & everyday deeds aspire us to the better future, happy life & prosperity of our peoples!

Long live the constructive, creative Tajik nation, the creator of cultures & civilizations!

I wish you happiness & every success! 

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