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India’s President Pratibha Patil visited Tajikistan on 23rd September 2009. After these high level visits India and Tajikistan became more comprehensive partners in the region. At present, India- Tajikistan bilateral relations is based on mutual respect, convergence of interests and similarity of views. Moreover, India and Tajikistan does not have any differences on any particular issue which needs to be resolved. Tajikistan has consistently extended support to India in the United Nations and in various UN forums. On the Jammu & Kashmir issue, Tajikistan holds the view that, it is a bilateral dispute and may be resolved amicably by India and Pakistan.7

The high level visits had special focus to forge closer relations and enhanced bilateral cooperation. Notably, both sides agreed to jointly combat terrorism, expand defense cooperation as both the countries share close defense and security relations. India has upgraded the Aini airport near Dushanbe, which is fully operational now and identified other strategic areas of cooperation including building of highway. This highway would give Tajikistan a link and access to Chabahar port in Iran via Afghanistan. The highway from Chabahar will pass through Afghanistan to Tajikistan. The connecting route will be Chabahar-Kabul-Kunduz-Badakhshan, which will enable India to have a transport corridor to the Central Asian region.8 Cooperation in Hydroelectric power is yet another important sector of cooperation between India and Tajikistan.9 Another significant area of cooperation between the two countries is to fight against terrorism and drugs trafficking. Both the countries have together fought against the Taliban and there is already a joint working group on counter terrorism activities.10 As terrorism and extremism is a common threat faced by both India and Tajikistan, during President Patil’s visit she specifically emphasized that cooperation to fight against terrorism is significant, she said:

Today our region is beset by the menace of terrorism. Terrorism, extremism and

fundamentalism are posing serious threat to the peace and security in our region, be it

India, Afghanistan or Tajikistan. Therefore, urgent proactive measures are required to

eliminate terrorism in all its form and manifestations, so that their forces do not de-rail the

processes of progress and prosperity.11

India-Tajikistan Defense Cooperation started when Tajikistan’s Defense Minister, Colonel General Sherali Khairullaev visited India for the first time in December 2001. This visit resulted in the two sides defining the scope and areas of cooperation. The visit was reciprocated by India’s Defense Minister, George Fernandes visit in April 2002. The ‘bilateral’, defense cooperation covers a wide spectrum of issues notably, sharing of information, material support

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