Registan’s Tajikistan News & Analysis Archive

Following independence, Tajikistan fell into a civil war that lasted until 1997, when an agreement was signed in which President Emomali Rahmon promised a share of government positions to the United Tajik Opposition. The war devastated Tajikistan, killing between 50,000 and 100,000 Tajiks and displacing over one million people. The war has had a deep and lasting legacy on Tajikistan. On the one hand, it is the only country with a legally operating Islamic political party. On the other, President Rahmon has steadily consolidated power, pushing his civil war opponents to the political sidelines and putting Islam under much tighter government control.

Several of our contributors have research experience in Tajikistan and others have worked on a variety of research and analysis projects on Tajikistan. Registan puts that experience to work to offer research, analysis, and training services tailored to your individual needs. For more information on how we can help you and your organization better understand Tajikistan and Central Asia, visit our services page.

The Islamic Renaissance Party’s downfall and its consequences for Tajikistan’s stability

by Helene Thibault
The IRPT regional office in Khujand, Sughd province in 2011. The building was destroyed in 2014. Photo taken by author.

Tajikistan is the sole Central Asian country to have legalized a faith-based political party, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT). The IRPT is considered to be the main heir of the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) that opposed government forces during the civil war (1992-1997). The June 1997 peace agreement devised the allocation of 30% [...]

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Ignorance, Incompetence, and the Islamic State on the Steppe

by Casey_Michel

There’s a peculiar belief currently coursing intellectual circles in Moscow. Combining the bubbling traits of nativism and Islamophobia, and playing squarely into the hands of those seeking to amp the region’s security structures, certain circles have begun pumping up the terror and tenor of the threat posed by the Islamic State. To be sure, these [...]

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Putin’s Words and Kazakh History

by Casey_Michel

Another summer passes, and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev grows that much closer to moving into his post-presidential period. Unfortunately, this summer moved us no closer toward identifying a successor to the 74-year-old Nazarbayev. We have candidates, from Timur Kulibayev to Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev to Dariga Nazarbayeva, but no figure has yet jumped to the fore. With [...]

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Road of Sorrow – Trafficking and Ethnicity on the Pamir Highway

by Stephen M. Bland
Thumbnail image for Road of Sorrow – Trafficking and Ethnicity on the Pamir Highway

Beginning in the Kyrgyz second city of Osh, the Pamir Highway – the second highest international road in the world – runs the length of Tajikistan and down through Uzbekistan before terminating in Afghanistan. Ninety tonnes of heroin is trafficked through Tajikistan each year, much of it passing through the poverty stricken, self-governing Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous [...]

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Marching Westward

by Casey_Michel

We always knew 2014 was going to be a year of Eurasian shift. The American withdrawal from Afghanistan, pegged to 2014, coincided with Washington’s pivot to East Asia – as well as the Americans’ unceremonious eviction from the Manas Transit Center, their most noteworthy placeholder in Central Asia. And as soon as Viktor Yanukovych made [...]

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A New Eurasian Epoch, But No One Really Noticed

by Casey_Michel

Unless you’ve been watching the post-Soviet space with a keen eye, you likely missed the world’s-biggest-round-table signing last week. The meeting, held in Astana, heralded what Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed as a new “epoch” – the official founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), set to come into force on Jan. 1, 2015. But [...]

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The Central Asia Digital Islam Project: How the Internet and Social Media are Reshaping the Islamic Marketplace in Central Asia

by Noah Tucker
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The Internet and social media are slowly beginning to revolutionize the Islamic marketplace of ideas for Central Asians. Similar to processes identified by scholars like Peter Mandaville in other contexts, Central Asia’s access to digital Islam has been delayed by low Internet penetration, authoritarian controls on media and communication, and, in part, by Central Asia’s [...]

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Are We Witnessing The Demise of Kazakhstan’s Multi-Vectored Foreign Policy?

by Reid Standish
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Despite the slow progression and many obstacles, it appears that the Eurasian Union (Eurasian Economic Union/ EEC) is on course to come into existence. But even with general agreement among the Customs Union’s big three (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), there are some unresolved issues that could plague the union’s future and alter the region’s political [...]

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Understanding the Implications of the Ukraine Crisis

by Nathan Barrick

I’m disturbed by the short-sightedness of media analysis of the events in Ukraine, even as they begin to explore deeper – they are trapped by their own previous reporting and I hope they feel guilty enough about it to start getting it right…not likely. I am also annoyed at the U.S. government’s public analysis and [...]

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Checking in on Eurasian Union Struggles

by Casey_Michel

In late October, while meeting with other heads involved in the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev turned to the topic of the forthcoming Eurasian Union. There had been hints and drops of Kazakhstani discontent with the EAU’s formulation – talk of business concerns, rumblings of ethno-based discontent. Nazarbayev decided to focus [...]

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