Tajikistan
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Tajikistan

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Tajikistan Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

143,100 sq km (55,251 sq miles).

Population

7.9 million (2013).

Population density

55.3 per sq km.

Capital

Dushanbe.

Government

Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Head of state

President Emomali Rahmon since 1994.

Head of government

Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda since 2013.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round, two-pin continental plugs are standard.

Tajikistan's mountainous terrain is ideally suited to the adventurous trekker, while the ancient Silk Road routes, incorporating some of the country's most stunning landscapes, offer a glimpse into a more prosperous era.

The Tajiks come from an ancient stock - the inhabitants of the Pamir Mountains claim to be the only pure descendants of the Aryan tribes who invaded India over 4,000 years ago, and that the Saxon tribes of western Europe also originated there. Tajikistan's inaccessibility has protected it from most invaders, although Alexander the Great founded a city on the site of modern-day Khojand, calling it Alexandria Eskate (Alexandria the Furthest).

Tajikistan was established as a sovereign state in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The ensuing power struggle led to civil war in late 1992, resulting in about 30,000 deaths. In 1994, Russian troops were brought in at the request of the beleaguered regime. Moscow also brokered negotiations between the government and the United Tajik Opposition (UTO).

It is now some time since the opposing parties signed a 1997 peace agreement that brought the Tajik civil war to an end, and the political situation is currently stable. Tajikistan was never well-equipped with a comprehensive infrastructure for tourists, and some sites were destroyed in the civil war, but there is still much to see.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 21 July 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO).

The government of Tajikistan has recommenced issuing permits allowing travel to the GBAO by foreign nationals entering Tajikistan on tourist visas. However, it still can’t guarantee the security of foreign nationals in the area, and the FCO therefore continue to advise against all but essential travel to the region.

The situation is subject to frequent change at short notice. If you’re considering travel to the region you should contact the Embassy of Tajikistan for up to date information on whether permits are being issued.

Diplomats are still not permitted to travel to the GBAO. Due to these restrictions, the British Embassy will not be able to provide a full range of consular services to British nationals in the GBAO.

There was a shooting incident on the Tajikistan/Afghanistan border close to the town of Khorog, the administrative centre of GBAO on 10 June 2014, following earlier outbreaks of localised violence in Khorog in late May 2014. The government has increased security and there is a heightened military presence on the streets. Further violence is possible.

If you’re currently in GBAO, you should consider leaving. If you decide to stay, you should keep off the streets for the time being and avoid any large gatherings. The FCO is following the situation closely and seeking further clarity regarding travel permits and the situation in the area. You should check this site regularly for further updates.

Tajikistan’s borders with neighbouring countries are subject to closure without notice. Check in advance which border posts are currently open. You may also wish to check with the British embassy in Dushanbe for up to date information on border restrictions.

The crossing points on the Tajik/Kyrgyz border at Karamik (Jirgatol region), Guliston (Isfara region), Avchikalacha (Sughd region) and Kizil Art (Gorno-Badakhshan region) are open to British nationals.

The crossing points on the Tajik/Uzbek border at Bratstvo (Tursunzade region), and at Fotehobod and Patar/Rabot (Sughd region) are open to British nationals holding visas.

There is a general threat from terrorism.

Tourism, health and transport infrastructure is poor and travel requires careful planning. Avoid off-road areas immediately adjoining the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders, which may be mined.

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