Speech by Ambassador during his credential ceremony
(19 July, 2016)
Ladies and Gentlemen and friends from Tajikistan.
It’s a great honour for me to present my credentials as the Ambassador of Republic of India to the Republic of Tajikistan. Tradition and history brought India and Tajikistan close to each other. We are strategic partners. Today, our partnership encompasses cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas, including political, economic, education, health, human resource development, defence, counter-terrorism, science and technology, culture and tourism. It is my firm belief that we will be able to take this partnership to an even higher level during my tenure in Tajikistan through greater interaction between our two countries.
2. Friends, India is one of the largest countries in the world with multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic society. We adopted a secular constitution despite the fact that overwhelming majority follows Hinduism. We are the second largest population following Islam in the world and India is birth place of great religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and many others sects and sub-sects. India has 22 official languages, numerous dialects and great variety in dress, food and traditions. Despite such enormous diversity, India is a tolerant society looking for peace and prosperity within the country and the world. We deeply feel that Tajiks are similar to us – peaceful and looking for prosperity for themselves and others through hard work and cooperation.
3. India today is the fastest growing economy amongst the large economies of the world. It is a vital member of G20 and other multi-lateral bodies such as BRICS and SCO and contributing to stability, peace and economic development of the world. Tajikistan is the key partner of India to ensure peace and stability, to resist fundamentalism and radicalization of society and to fight terrorism. It is time that the entrepreneurs from Tajikistan make use of commercial opportunities from high economic growth in India as growth is an important necessity for peace and stability in this region.
4. We have implemented several grant projects in Tajikistan including a Fruit Processing Plant, an Information and Technology Centre (Bedil Centre) and a Modern Engineering Workshop. We also rehabilitated the 1936 vintage Varzob-1 Hydro Power Station as a result of which its installed capacity has been substantially increased.
5. I feel great pleasure in informing that we have made substantial progress in implementing all the decisions arrived at during my Prime Minister’s visit to Tajikistan in July 2015. A team of Indian technical experts is presently in Tajikistan for setting up of computer labs in 37 schools of Tajikistan. Since 1996, more than 1050 students from Tajikistan have been trained in India under technical and economic cooperation programs and around 350 Tajik students studied for university education. I invite Tajik students to our Embassy to get to know more about these scholarship programs in India.
6. Cultural relations between our two countries are vibrant as is reflected by the popularity of Indian films, dances and other art forms in Tajikistan. We recently celebrated Days of Indian culture in Tajikistan, which attracted huge crowds. In the months ahead, we will have more visits by Indian cultural troupes to Tajikistan as we prepare to commemorate the 25th year of establishment of our diplomatic relations. I welcome Tajik youth to our Embassy to attend classes on Yoga, Indian Dance and Musical instrument and Hindi language.