In recent years, the government of Tajikistan pays special attention to the replenishment of the state budget deficit. Especially, in this way the government of the country has succeeded, which is trying to patch up all budget holes in every possible ways, including such an extraordinary way, as the sale of age-old Tajik lands to foreign countries.
Two years ago, our country’s officials have solemnly signed a contract with Chinese partners for the sale of 1500 square kilometers of the Murghab district. Then Members of Parliament from every platform that portrayed the deal as a regular victory of the Tajik diplomacy. Parliamentarians boasted that they were able to sell to the Chinese less territory than demanded by foreigners for this pay. In fact, the lands sold to China are in repayment of external debt, however, statesmen, of course, do not admit it openly.
Only in the years of Tajikistan’s independence more than two million square kilometers of disputed territories turned over to the Chinese, and it is almost one percent of the total area of Tajikistan.
A recent trip to the Murghab district greatly disappointed me when I am personally convinced that the Chinese frontier guards have already established border posts, some of which are 20 kilometers deep into the territory of Tajikistan, while Tajikistan and China agreed on the transfer of only 1.5 thousand square kilometers of the area.
Today in Murghab district there are some Chinese experts by hydraulic structures. As noted by people in the know, the Chinese experts familiar with the riverbed of the Zerafshan and study the terrain to give expert assessment on the possibility of constructing here next reservoir and hydroelectric power plants, which foreigners have promised to fund generously. However, the reverse side of these agreements is not as advertised to the public, because in return the Chinese intend to continue to expand its territory at the expense of the Murghab district.
I should add that the Chinese company ‘Zuntai Khatlon Xing Silu’ has the right to 49 years free of rent of 15 thousand hectares of the land in the south of Tajikistan. Local MPs have motivated their decision that it’s been given wasteland to the Chinese, which will now be grown cotton there. Additionally, they rented 6.3 thousand hectares of arable land in Dangara district of Khatlon region.
It must be said that 93 percent of Tajikistan’s territory is covered by mountains, the total area of productive land is only 865 thousand hectares.
Today, Tajiks have not enough fertile lands, and the ‘father of the nation’ does not get tired to give our lands to repay foreign debts. In their defense officials from the highest offices voicing false information that the land leased to local farmers who Chinese experts in consultation engaged in their cultivation, but coming on the field, you can see with your own eyes that there is no Tajik around, thousands of Chinese are wandering in our lands instead.
If agreement on the aforementioned issues will be achieved, we can confidently say that in the future Tajik people with many children will be forced to seek refuge in other countries, because narrow-spirited government of the republic, guided by the short-term economic success, admits such a thoughtless squandering of their lands.
Bakhtiyor Atovulloev, Dushanbe