Context:

A ceasefire on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan was held following a day of intense fighting between the two ex-Soviet Central Asian neighbours that killed 39 people and wounded more than 175.

 

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (Important developments in foreign countries affecting India’s interests) GS-I: Geography (Maps), Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the recent tensions between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
  2. Maps
  3. Significance of this region for India

About the recent tensions between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

  • Both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have claimed the area around the water supply facility in Kok-Tash, a dispute dating back decades to when they were both part of the Soviet Union.
  • After the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in late 1991 – Soviet mapmakers drew the dividing lines for Soviet republics which is now the current configuration of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border.
  • The meandering boundary between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is particularly tense as over a third of its 1,000-km length is disputed. Restrictions on access to land and water that communities regard as theirs have often led to deadly clashes in the past.
  • Russia and European Union (EU) welcomed the ceasefire deal and emphasised the need for a lasting and peaceful solution.

Maps:

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan belong to the central asia region. Other countries of the region are Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

R s RAINE GEORGIA ARMENIA TURKEY Caspian KAZAKHSTAN UZBEKISTAN . TURKMENISTAN KYRGYZSTAN CHINA TAJIKISTAN PAKIST IRAN AFGHANISTAN
Everlasting or Ever-Changing? Violence Along the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan  Border | ACLED

Significance of this region for India

  • Central Asia serves as a land bridge between Asia and Europe, making it geopolitically axial for India.
  • The region is rich in natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, antimony, aluminum, gold, silver, coal and uranium which can be best utilized by Indian energy requirements.
  • Central Asia has huge cultivable areas lying barren and without being put to any productive use, offering enormous opportunity for cultivation of pulses.
  • India intends expansion of International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. This will act as a vital gateway to access Eurasian markets and optimally operationalize its use, requiring a Central Asian state joining the project as a direct stakeholder.
  • India has proposed setting up of ‘India-Central Asia Development Group’ to take forward development partnership between India & Central Asian countries. This group will help India to expand its footprints in the resource-rich region amid China’s massive inroads and to fight terror effectively, including in Afghanistan.
  • India has a very wide array of interests in Central Asia covering security, energy, economic opportunities etc., therefore Security, stability and prosperity of Central Asia is imperative for peace and economic development of India.
  • Both India and Central Asian Republics (CARs) share many commonalities and perceptions on various regional and world issues and can play a crucial role in providing regional stability.

-Source: The Hindu

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