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Visa information on Tajikistan:

Background information on Tajikistan:

Tajikistan has experienced three changes in government and a five-year civil war since it gained independence in 1991 from the USSR . A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997, and implemented in 2000. The central government's less than total control over some areas of the country has forced it to compromise and forge alliances among factions. Attention by the international community in the wake of the war in Afghanistan has brought increased economic development assistance, which could create jobs and increase stability in the long term. Tajikistan is in the early stages of seeking World Trade Organization membership and has joined NATO's Partnership for Peace.

The Lonely Planet reports:

Tajikistan may have its problems, but mountain lovers will want to brave it. The high point of the country's unparalleled scenery are the Pamirs , which dwarf anything found outside Nepal . The Pamir Highway provides all the high-altitude thrills you could ever hope to get without donning crampons. (See Janne Corax ' excellent section on the Pamir Highway here )

This beleaguered Central Asian republic has its own flag, a national airline and a scattering of embassies abroad, but despite these emblems of sovereignty it remains a curiously incomplete and terribly troubled country. It bloodily fell apart as soon as it was free of direct rule from Moscow .

The north of Tajikistan is in all but name a part of Uzbekistan; the mountainous Pamir region, despite Soviet attempts to populate it, remains almost a vacuum; while the capital, Dushanbe, a city not yet three-quarters of a century old, still feels like an apartment awaiting its tenants.

The country has proved far from stable, surviving on a drip feed of credits and loans from Moscow while the Pamiris survive on the largesse of the Aga Khan. Visitors should definitely check the latest security situation before turning up.

Factsheet Tajikistan:

Full country name: Republic of Tajikistan
Area: 143,100 sq km
Population: 6.44 million
People: 64.9% Tajik, 25% Uzbek, 3.5% Russian (declining because of emigration)
Language: Tajik, Russian
Religion: 80% Sunni Muslim, 5% Shi'a Muslim
Government: Republic
Head of State: President Imomali Rakhmonov
Head of Government: Prime Minister Akil Akilov

GDP: US$6 billion
GDP per capita: US$990
Annual Growth: 5.3%
Inflation: 46.3%
Major Industries: Aluminum, zinc, lead, chemicals and fertilizers, cement, vegetable oil, metal-cutting machine tools, refrigerators and freezers, cotton, grain, fruits, grapes, vegetables, cattle, sheep, goats
Major Trading Partners: CIS, the Netherlands, Switzerland, UK

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