Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan agree ceasefire after border clashes

Published May 2, 2021
Kyrgyz citizens, who were evacuated from districts bordering Tajikistan are seen inside of a school in southwestern town of Batken on Saturday. — AFP
Kyrgyz citizens, who were evacuated from districts bordering Tajikistan are seen inside of a school in southwestern town of Batken on Saturday. — AFP

BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan agreed what they called a complete ceasefire on Saturday after reports of fresh shooting and troop build-ups in the aftermath of border clashes earlier this week that killed 49 people.

The heads of the countries’ state security bodies announced the agreement in a joint briefing in Kyrgyzstan hours after Kyrgyzstan’s border guard service said Tajik troops opened fire on Kyrgyz vehicles on their side of the border.

The presidents of the two Central Asian nations also spoke on the phone on Saturday to discuss further steps, their offices said.

“The tragedy that happened in the border area must never happen again,” Saimumin Yatiyev, head of Tajikistan’s State National Security Committee, said as he stood next to his Kyrgyz counterpart Kamchybek Tashiyev.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone with his counterparts in both countries, urging them to stick to the ceasefire agreement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which are former Soviet republics, host Russian military bases and consider Moscow a strategic ally.

The clashes broke out this week along the frontier between Tajikistan’s Sughd province and Kyrgyzstan’s southern Batken province because of a dispute over a reservoir and pump, claimed by both sides, on the Isfara River.

Villagers from opposing sides hurled rocks at each other and border guards joined the fray with guns, mortars and even, according to Kyrgyz border guards, a Tajik attack helicopter.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Horror in Sialkot
Updated 05 Dec 2021

Horror in Sialkot

All it takes now is an allegation of blasphemy and an individual or two to incite a mob to commit murder.
05 Dec 2021

Iran deadlock

EFFORTS to revive the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Austrian capital of Vienna appear to be deadlocked, and...
05 Dec 2021

Reality of AIDS

AS World AIDS Day was marked on Dec 1, it came as a sobering reminder of how newer, major health hazards — the...
Stock market carnage
Updated 04 Dec 2021

Stock market carnage

PAKISTAN’S stock market has been on a downward ride for the last several months as a result of deteriorating...
04 Dec 2021

Omicron threat

THE NCOC has suggested installing more oxygen plants in various parts of the country as the new Covid-19 variant,...
04 Dec 2021

UK spymaster speaks

A RECENT speech by the chief of MI6 — the UK’s external intelligence agency — provided a key insight into the...