President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Speech in honor of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan

22.02.2013 12:03, Dushanbe city

Distinguished Generals, dear officers, soldiers and the honorable veterans of the Armed Forces!
Dear compatriots!

We today celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of the country with a high sense of patriotism and profound gratitude for a peaceful life in our independent homeland.

In these moments, on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the National Army of free and sovereign Tajikistan, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate you all, dear veterans, officers, military personnel and all representatives of this important body of the state, who made an important contribution to building a democratic and secular society, and the protection of borders and security of the state and society.

I wish you good health, happiness and every success in your difficult and noble job you do.
The government of the country from the very beginning deeply acknowledged that the state cannot exist without strong Armed Forces and the troops which are entrusted with the responsibility to ensure the country’s security and stability.

I well remember how in those incredibly difficult and fateful days, there was no real basis and a proper ground for the establishment of a military structure.
Most of the people did not believe that in such difficult conditions – in terms of the severe economic crisis and a troubled political situation, the country will form a national army.

Since, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan among fifteen former Soviet republics was an only independent country, that did not inherit anything from the Soviet army, while other republics took all the military facilities and equipment of military units stationed in their territories, thereby becoming owners of the Army and other military structures.

We therefore, together with the members of the then parliament came to the conclusion that we need to immediately form a national army, and other authorities of the state and streamline their operations.
To this end, on December 18, 1992 the Presidium of the Supreme Council had adopted a decree on the establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan.

The early days of the formation of the Armed Forces have been incredibly difficult for our young state. We have always been feeling a lack of military equipment, experiencing desperate shortage of weapons, ammunition and basic military equipment, uniforms, military barracks for officers and soldiers.
Despite all these difficulties and shortages, the first military parade was held on February 23, 1993 with the participation of the National Army of the patriotic and loyal officers and soldiers - those who put their breasts in the name of peace and stopped the bloodshed.

Thanks to the efforts and dedication of the proud and valiant sons and the courageous soldiers of the homeland, a constitutional order was restored in Tajikistan, and the condition for peace, stability, social welfare and the national unity was created.

The Tajik people will never forget the dedication and heroic deeds of those valiant soldiers of homeland, and the merits of each of them, which indeed are the supreme example of a faithful service to the motherland.

Indeed, our young Armed Forces since the early days of its formation pledged along with other military and the law enforcement agencies to conduct a relentless struggle against the forces who jeopardize the peace process of the Tajiks and the unity of the nation, and also promised using their valor and courage to bring the young state of the Tajiks out from the verge of oblivion and rescue our beloved nation from the danger of disintegration.

Thus, the officers and the soldiers of our armed forces as trustworthy advocates of the state and society with bravery and courage have been through the trials and tests, especially in the crucial years of the modern history of our country.

Today, we can proudly declare, that the people of Tajikistan sees its reliable defenders in the person of the Armed Forces and takes firm steps towards the path of development and prosperity. Historical records indicate that the Aryan people, including Tajiks, in ancient times were armed, hardened on the battlefield and were well acquainted with the advanced tactics and techniques of warfare.

It is written in the book "Avesta" that Aryan society was consisted of four classes - the scientists, warriors, craftsmen and farmers. That is, the soldiers were the second in terms of their importance in the system of that time community governance, which indicates a sign of respect to the defenders of the borders of ancestral land.

This book also says that the use of the trained horses for military purposes was also associated with the Aryan people. The "Shahnameh" of Hakim Ferdowsi says that the first weapons, including helmets, shields and armor were produced by King Jamshed – the founder of the Aryans’ army. According to historical sources, the chariots and other military equipment and ammunitions were also invented by Aryan warlords and commanders.

Back thousand years ago, a great politician and acknowledged minister of the state of Seljuks – known as Nizomulmulk in his immortal work "Siyosatname" (The Book about the Political Sciences) has focused on military matters, and has devoted twelve volumes of his book to the art of war.

All the victories and defeats of troops, development and the welfare of homeland were described by Nizomulmulk as an interconnection of three main factors - the king, the army and the nationals.

It is, an invaluable heritage of the art of war has allowed us to build a national army and other components of the army absolutely from scratch and could in a short period of time ensure their regular activities. It is this ancestral genetic sense gives our soldiers military strength and power in the way of loyalty to the motherland and national security. The personnel of the Armed Forces has repeatedly proved its fidelity to the people, to the motherland, the government and the President of the country.

However, it should be noted that, thousands of soldiers of military units of the national army and police were killed since the period of the armed conflict in the country and up to the suppression of riot of traitors and enemies of the Tajik nation and other special operations. Grateful people of Tajikistan will forever remember the good memory of those brave men who sacrificed themselves in order to restore the constitutional order, peace, stability, ensure border security, peaceful life of the people of the country.

The leadership of the state and the Government will always appreciate and pay tribute to the heroism and selfless contribution of those valiant and courageous sons of the Motherland.

Since 1993 to the present day, about two thousand soldiers of the National Army, police, law-enforcement authorities and other military structures have been bestowed by President on state awards and rewarded with the highest military ranks.

Distinguished audience!

The Government of Tajikistan takes consistent actions to address the challenges associated with providing military, including the National Army and law enforcement agencies, with material and technical resources and ensure social protection of personnel, to create necessary legal framework for these departments and bodies, and as well as mobilizes all the existing opportunities and facilities to improve the conditions of army service.

Over 40 laws, decrees and orders of the President, decisions and orders of the Tajik Government, which govern the core basics of public policy in the field of defense, the powers of the executive bodies of state authority, as well as legal and social protection of servicemen are approved and duly endorsed from the year 2000 and up to date.

For the last five years, law enforcement and military agencies’ financing has grown three-fold compared to 2008. From 2006 up till now 4 phases of wage reform of the military and law enforcement personnel were carried out, as a result of which the amount of monetary allowances for the military and army personnel increased almost 9 times.

Improvement of units and departments of the Armed Forces and their provision with qualified personnel is one of the main directions of the policy of the state and the Government of Tajikistan.

Up to date, nearly 14 thousand people among those graduated from higher military educational institutions in the country and more than 2600 people out of those graduated from universities abroad have been employed to serve in the military structures and law enforcement agencies throughout Tajikistan.
There are about 3000 students-cadets studying at higher educational establishments and 1100 people – study in the leading universities of the world.

I in this regard, would like to extend a gratitude to all friendly nations, those during the very difficult years for our people, have provided their selfless assistance and enlightened support in the establishment of the Armed Forces and those still working with us in the development of skilled military personnel.

Dear friends!
Ladies and gentlemen!

It has to be mentioned that measures and steps undertaken by the Government so far are insufficient to strengthen the defense capacity of the country. There is still much more to do.
We, along with the economic development of the country will take all necessary measures to further improve the working and living conditions of the military staff and the personnel of law enforcement agencies of the country.

Since, concern for soldiers and servicemen of the Armed Forces, is first of all a care for the state and the people. The government deeply acknowledges this need of caring for the army and the people.

I repeatedly reminded you and today I would like to reiterate that the safety of people and the state, protection of the peaceful and prosperous life of the people and socio-economic progress has directly associated with the stability of political situation, law and order, the rule of law, the prevention and the fight against crime and the protection of borders of the country.

Fulfillment of these tasks, in turn, requires from the heads of all the military and law enforcement agencies, as well as from every officers and soldiers to observe the rule of law and legal order and ensure strict discipline amongst military servicemen, as an essential factor in improving military readiness and strengthening a defense might of the country.

Despite series of effective steps and drastic measures have been carried out in this area so far, I as the Supreme Commander–in–Chief of the Armed Forces am not satisfied yet with the overall state of affairs. Modern technology should be used and effective training system and educational work have to be introduced in this process.

We should keep it in mind that it would be quite difficult to achieve tangible results in the defense of peace, stability and security of the state and the people of the country without modern military knowledge, strict discipline and high sense of patriotism of military and army personnel.
Therefore, managers and decision-makers of military bodies and army should continuously improve educational work, which is the most important direction of the personnel engagement.

They at the same time need to analyze and understand the causes and factors contributing to the offence, and to take effective measures for their prevention and elimination.

A system of educational work should be put in such a way that Armed Forces servicemen and soldiers, in particular, be brought up in the spirit of patriotism, of high discipline and exemplary conduct, and comprehensive military skills and practice. They have with the great responsibility to recognize that the army is the face of the nation and the key basis for the stability of the state.

Dear friends!

Today, there are indeed challenging tasks ahead of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan that need to be addressed.
And this is a need caused by a complex and rapidly-changing modern world, the geopolitical situation of the planet, growth trends and threats of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, arms smuggling and other organized transnational crime.

In such difficult circumstances, when the region is still in volatility, the primary task of the Armed Forces and personnel of law enforcement agencies is a reliable defense of national independence, protection of the interests of the people and the state of Tajikistan.

Therefore, the military bodies and law enforcement authorities should always be ready to counter these threats and to resolve major public issues.
Only then we will be able to ensure enduring peace and stability in the society, citizens can confidently rely on the power of the state and be assured that the armed forces are ready and capable to defend the country.

As everyone knows, the international coalition forces, ISAF in Afghanistan will gradually be withdrawn from this neighboring country by the end of the next year.
We hope that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on the healthy and capable forces of the country, achieves peace and stability, but given some of the factors, our National Army and border guard troops, as well as the security and police should be prepared to defend our beloved country from any kind of external threats and challenges.

I am deeply convinced that Tajikistan’s armed forces together with the personnel and law enforcement officers will not lose the political and military vigilance and will proudly perform their duties of protecting an integrity of sacred boundaries and territory of the homeland, protecting the safety and stability of society, independence, and promoting the interests of state and the people of Tajikistan.

Tajik people in its thousand-year history, has never put the violence up a mental and intellectual strength.
History does not remember that Tajiks have ever claimed the seizure of foreign lands.

Our ancestors have resorted to the use of force only in cases where the aliens were trying to subdue their sacred lands.
That's why the names and deeds of the heroes of the Tajik people like Spitamen, Devashtich, Mukanna’ and Temurmalik are preserved in the pages of the history of our people for eternity as defenders of ancestral lands.

Therefore the Tajik people are so proud of the glorious traditions of the national army, for, our Army since the very beginning of its formation and to this day proudly serve as a guarantee for the security of the country and an important basis of statehood.

Service in the Armed Forces is not only sacred filial responsibility, but also a source of pride and a great honor.
The army is a school of valor, courage, friendship, brotherhood, self-knowledge and patriotism for every man. The holy task of each of us is to preserve lasting peace, territorial integrity of Tajikistan and the national unity of our people like the apple of an eye.

You should always remember that the people, our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers see in the person of each of you the real and brave defenders of the homeland, defenders of the land of their ancestors and its territory.

I, as the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces am confident in your loyalty, fidelity, professional valor, and dedication – as the courageous sons of the motherland!

With these good intentions I once again congratulate all of you, valiant generals, brave officers and courageous soldiers, dear veterans and all military personnel of the Armed Forces and the people of Tajikistan on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the Armed Forces of independent Tajikistan.

I wish you good health, good spirit, strong determination and every success in the execution of your courageous and sacred duty – in a defense of a free and independent homeland!

Thank you!

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