President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement at the meeting dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the XVIth Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan

19.11.2012 16:50, Bobojon Ghafurov district

Distinguished compatriots!
Dear friends!

Today we have gathered to pay a tribute to a date of beginning of existence of our new state - the twentieth anniversary of the historic sixteenth Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan, which has played a pivotal role in our state and nation, the inviolability of peace, stability, strengthening the legal framework and the constitutional order of the country.

With a sense of pride and a great joy I sincerely congratulate all of you, dear countrymen and those present in the meeting on this festive occasion, and take this opportunity to thank the hospitable people of the ancient city of Khujand, which in that incredibly difficult period of history have received participants of that historic session.

All those present in this room well remember that in the days of the Sixteenth Session of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan the people of our country was exposed to the impacts against the internal and external malevolent forces, whose main objective was to divide the Tajik people and eliminate our young nation.

Despite the fact that in the early 90-ies of the last century new goals of statehood, the distribution of power, the revival of good historical traditions and rituals of the Tajik people, guarantee of civil, political and economic rights to all inhabitants of the country and free development were recorded in the Declaration of Independence of Tajikistan, however, the difficult political situation of that time did not allow the country actually implement these provisions.

Tajikistan at that time was in a difficult position because of a fierce civil war and protracted armed confrontation of some regions of the country had completely paralyzed the national economy, had broken the structures and organs of state power.

The country was covered by deep political crisis and no one knew what the future was ahead of the country and the people.

In such a situation of anarchy and disorder in Tajikistan, as a country which has recently gained its independence, was in serious danger and no one in those difficult days did want to take responsibility for building peace and stability in the country.

All this delayed an implementation of the new politico-economic and socio-cultural processes initiated simultaneously with the national independence and the transition to a market economy, that is a question of providing real security of the state independence of Tajikistan and ensure of its independent development given the requirements of the new era.

Whereas the Tajiks, being the ancient nation with a rich cultural and historical traditions, from the first day of attainment of state independence had the opportunity of development and prosperity in a democratic way in the new political, economic and socio-cultural conditions.

The country was in a situation where on the one hand state structure could not extinguish the flames of fratricidal war and rid society of the deep political and social crisis, and on the other hand, it was impossible to postpone the establishment of new public authorities, in particular the constitutional election of a new political leadership.

All of us at that difficult time had been deeply aware that only creative power could save all of us from destruction, and today we can say with gratitude that such a force was manifested in the person of an ancient and wise people of Tajikistan.

It is through primordial wisdom, foresight, patience and creative nature of the Tajik people the 16th session of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan was held, which is considered in the contemporary history of the Tajiks as the real beginning of the peace process and the revival of the foundations of national statehood.

Despite the many difficulties and obstacles, the members of the Parliament through patriotic efforts have chosen an only safe and quite calm region - the ancient city of Khujand as a venue for the 16th session of the Supreme Council.

Of course, it was too hard to convene the session those days. Detractors in every way attempted to discourage it and to create different obstacles.

The sixteenth session of the Supreme Council began its work with the participation of deputies, members of the Government, celebrities, veterans, scientists, writers, representatives of political parties, organizations and the media in the Arbob Palace, which is recorded in its treatise on the history of the Tajik people and captured as a venue of restoration of constitutional government.

In this connection, I wish to particularly emphasize the following moment: members of Parliament were well aware that the holding of this session will be crucial to the future of the Tajiks, and they gathered with only one purpose - to save the people and independent Tajik state from division and danger of extinction.

I remember that in those hard times, that is, in the days when no one recognized the Government of National Reconciliation and in time when elected president of the country was forced to retire at the airport of the capital, some deputies under pressure of separate forces, and fearing death, could not clearly identify a position of their participation at the session.

Despite this, the majority of the members presented at the session, as all well aware that the only way to end the chaos in the country was hosting the session.

Therefore, 193 deputies out of 230 members of Parliament attended the session.

The People's deputies, and all those who actively participated in the 16th session, were well aware that it was impossible to achieve noble goals and objectives of those days - to ensure peace and national unity via the operation of the existing public authorities.

In addition, all the people of Tajikistan, who advocated a return to constitutional order of the country, were looking forward to the beginning of the 16th session of the Supreme Council, its decisions and hoped that after the meeting peace and stability will be established in the country.

People's deputies during a session with a high sense of patriotism put national interests above all and tried in every way to protect them.

As a result, in general, 74 legal instruments, in particular 15 laws and 52 regulations, decrees, and 6 orders were adopted, which at that time played a significant role in the stabilization of the political situation in the country.

Because of the strong spirit of patriotic honor and support of an absolute majority of the Tajik people, we were able to end the despair and frustration, to send peace-loving forces and the will of our people in a constructive way and to an irreversible process of peace and reconciliation, build peace and stability in the country, which is great, and the invaluable heroic merit Tajik people to the Homeland.

Achieving peace in Tajikistan has proved to mankind that the solution of internal and regional conflicts, despite all the difficulties is always possible. There was a need only for a healthy mind, will and commitment of the opposing sides, the higher purpose of protecting national interests and national priorities over group interests.

In this regard, I wish to sincerely thank the members of parliament who actively participated in the work of that determining historic session, supported the new Supreme Council for the sake of the future of our independent state and put an end to internal conflict as well as members of the Government, who were elected at the session and with a high sense of responsibility started their activities, intellectuals and all those who have made their patriotic contribution to this momentous political event.

Dear friends!

If you remember, the deputies at the session offered at all costs to install the constitutional order to put an end to anarchy, to save the people and rescue the country from imminent death and so that enemies of the nation could not achieve their goals and sabotage to sacrifice for the sake of the country's geopolitical objectives of the others, paralyzing government branches and violating national unity.

Even in my speech of 12 December 1992, which was the first document adopted at the session, with the real situation of the time, I emphasized that our nation is going through the most difficult and tragic historical moments of its life.

The question of the existence or disappearance of our sovereign state was under threat, and tens of thousands of innocent people were killed and heavily injured. The tragedy of fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, was a tragedy of a nation.

Further, in spite of great difficulties, we together were able to establish the constitutional order of the state. Following the session of the newly elected government authority started implementing its regulations and with these important and fateful intentions with the support of the population has achieved a tangible success.

Owing to the strong will of the people and the governing bodies of the country after the session and during the implementation of its decisions on the Tajik land, peace and security, and order of society, solidarity and national unity of the people were established, the refugees returned to their homes, all measures have been taken to restore the activity of various branches of public life, especially government bodies, law enforcement agencies and favorable conditions were secured for the further development of society.

In those days, when we had just gained independence and laid the foundations of the modern state, certain foreign circles using political and ideological chaos in the country wanted to put our society under the influence of extraneous ideology and realize their hidden political ax to grind in this country. Some domestic and inexperienced politically sensitive powers, too, being under their influence, supported the creation of another state with a different ideology.

However, these forces did not take into account one reality, the fact that the accompanying political and ideological system does not match any of the post-Soviet Tajikistan’s condition, no tradition, thought and religion of the country and particularly the political and geopolitical processes.

One of the main priorities of the secular state is that the secular state, as a world outlook, guarantees, on the one hand, equality before the law of different ideologies, on the other hand, allows one to proclaim his ideology of public ideology and to pressure the followers of other ideologies.

In other words, the secular state is the guarantor of the conditions for equal work and it is not in vain is recognized and accepted by the civilized nations of the world who believe human values are the highest values.

Today the time, as chief justice, shows that the secular state is the right way, a conscious and a serious choice of the people of Tajikistan.

Other issues discussed during the session consisted of establishing peace and stability in our beloved homeland and the return of forced migrants back to their permanent residence.

You well know that the newly Government since its first days has passed and implemented a number of measures to address this important social and political issue, and as a result, more than one million of our compatriots have been returned to their homeland.

Organization of return of displaced migrants, providing them with food and jobs, rebuilding of the destroyed houses were of the most exciting elements of the peace process and one of the best humane acts, which in the modern history of the Tajik people has rewarded the best of success.

Here, I consider it necessary to tell about an event of a matter of my deep concern and it is associated with the life of Tajik refugees of the 20s and 30s of the last century. It is at all times may be a model of devotion and love for the country, to the land of their ancestors. And it is very instructive, especially for young people.

Recently, the 104-year-old man, who in 1937 emigrated to Afghanistan as a refugee, appealed to the Government of Tajikistan, to allow him to return home and contribute to the restoration of his citizenship.

During a conversation with the representatives of the Government it was found that in spite of the fact that seventy years passed from the time he left his native land, he was always thinking about the homeland and dreamed of returning to Tajikistan.

Our old compatriot, saying the reason for his longevity, noted that he day and night, prayed that the Almighty spared his life before returning to his homeland before he will again kiss the sacred soil of his motherland. So when it was necessary to resolve the question of the return of our old fellow to home and restore his citizenship, recalling the hard life of our compatriots, who at the behest of the fate of 20-30 years of the last century, left their native land and the dream of a homeland lived in exile, I with no doubt felt the said of our countryman as a worthy status of our fellow citizen of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Indeed, a man so long and patiently waited his return home, worthy to be a citizen of beloved Tajikistan.

Poet rightly said in this regard:

Wanderer is not the one who thinks about Motherland abroad.
But who thinks about it at home, is the man with no homeland.

Dear friends!

Even during the historic session major and strategic goals of the Tajik state, in particular, the common legal values were identified. Creation of democratic, legal and secular state was one of those legal values identified during the session.

The session opened a new page of the constitutional reforms in the country and set the stage for the development and adoption of the new Constitution, as already defined path to build a democratic, united, legal and secular state, created the appropriate conditions for a full guarantee and protect the rights and freedoms person.

Thus, it was announced at the session on the one hand, about security environment for the legal basis of society, the rule of law, a democratic, legal and secular state, and on the other hand - on the observance of the principles and requirements of customary international law, as the strategic objectives and important domestic and foreign policy of a sovereign state of Tajikistan.

At this session, the state of Tajikistan announced the international community that it is a proponent of legal ways of further development of the society, of high moral values, the establishment of bilateral relations with all countries on the basis of generally accepted principles of international law.

This good initiative has been approved by parliament and other government communities of the world and international organizations.

The session has declared the new direction of domestic and foreign policy of the sovereign state of Tajikistan, the relevant requirements and principles of international law and once again proved that the people of Tajikistan is the supporter of peace, sustainable law enforcement and international cooperation on the basis of international law.

In subsequent years, we have implemented the decisions taken at the session, and once again proved that Tajikistan will steadily move towards progress, steadily and with a high sense of responsibility to the international community will realize the goals and objectives adopted at the historic session.

Dear friends!

If we sum up all our principal achievements, which originate from the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan, we can say that we have, thanks to this historic event, saved the country and our people from extinction, rescued the state created by the Tajik people after the millennial break, saved its territorial integrity, restored basic political and administrative structures and national statehood.

After this historic session, the Tajik people has gained new opportunity to build a civil society in peace and unity, as the wise use of this historic opportunity, hard work for the prosperity of our beloved country were and are the sacred duty of every good citizen of our independent country.

All of these new constitutional rules have created fertile conditions for strengthening peace and stability, national unity, to begin the process of implementation of the strategy of the state.

Today, in view of all this we can proudly and confidently say that the hard-working Tajik people had fulfilled its historic mission to the country and history.
In the future, the historical tasks set before the session had also been performed with wholehearted support of the people and the very recent history of our state proved that the way of nation building, primarily rests in peace and unity of the people.

Strengthening of the national unity is of utmost importance, especially in a complex geopolitical situation in the region and the world, reinforcing the contradictions between the interests of the great powers, the independence of the nation-state of vulnerability in a globalized world.

This process forces us to constantly take care of the strengthening of peace, unity and security of the state and the people, stability and security of the country and deeply understand the significance of this important national issue. For, in spite of the fact that we have overcome many of the difficulties of the transition period, the protection of the state and statehood remains as the primary national agenda.

Therefore, at the present stage of development of our country, each of us and each of our faithful representative of the people is obliged to put national interests, that is, the preservation of the achievements of the sovereignty and unity of the people, the protection of national values, in general, sustainable development of Tajikistan over the interests of political parties and groups.

In this regard, I call on political parties, public associations to ensure that they deeply understanding their civic responsibility to the people and the homeland, to make a greater contribution to the development of our sacred homeland, and the process of its prosperity.

For, in spite of the diversity of our opinions, we are all children of Tajikistan, consider it our homeland and shall cherish this gift of God.

The tragic events of the last century should be a lesson for all of us, and future generations of our people, a lesson of political vigilance and sharpness.

Enjoying the independence and sovereignty, as well as for the sake of the memory of tens of thousands of victims of the civil war, none of us has a moral right to forget those dark and terrible days of the history of our nation. On the contrary, we need to remember those difficult days, to be vigilant, to avoid being trapped in deception of enemies of our people and in the deception of the enemies of Tajik independent state.

We need to instill this idea to our children, creators of the future generation.

It is absolutely clear that as far as we are separated from time of that fateful, historic session, so it is clear of its great historical and creative value for our state and nation.

Based on this, the study of initiatives and historical consequences of the XVIth session for today's society and the future of the independent country of great instructive value, and, in general, is considered a human duty and civilian mission of everyone.

On this festive day, turning to God, I pray the Almighty to grant the people of our state, the peace and stability, to help us in achieving sustainable development, to give further prosperity, abundance and success.

I am absolutely convinced that our free people, living in peace, stability and national unity, even more will strengthen the foundation of our country and the sovereign state, with their selfless, devoted work, and will strive for the prosperity of our ancient nation.

Wishing you all success in the implementation of these good intentions and constructive, ambitious plans, I once again congratulate a proud people of Tajikistan, and all of you on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the historic event - the 16th Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan, and I wish every family of our beloved country wellbeing and happiness and to our beloved homeland – peace, stability and progress!

Let our motherland flourishes and our people will always be united!

Thank you!

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