DUSHANBE, September 9. /TASS/. Tajikistan is celebrating its 24th independence anniversary. A gala show featuring local pop stars and guest performers from neighboring republics is due at the nation’s largest entertainment hall Navruzgokh. On all previous occasions this cultural centre invariably hosted gala meetings on the eve of the event. This year the authorities have confined themselves to telecasting President Emomali Rakhmon’s address to the nation.
Rakhmon preferred to make a very brief and reserved statement and cancel the traditional official meeting and all events involving army units in view of domestic political tensions.
Less than one week before the main public holiday, on September 4, Tajikistan’s former deputy defence minister, Major-General Abdukhalim Nazarzoda and a group of supporters attacked a district police office and one of the Defence Ministry’s offices and then retreated to the Ramit Gorge 40 kilometers east of the republican capital. An anti-terrorist operation is in progress there. Twenty militants have been liquidated and 70 others detained.
In his televised message President Rakhmon urged giving a "resolute rebuff to all sorts of extremists."
He spoke highly of Tajikistan’s gains over the years of independence, in the first place, peace and national accord in society. Rakhmon emphasized the correctness of Tajikistan’s choice in favor of secular development made 24 years ago.
But a holiday will be a holiday. Apart from the festive gala show the residents and guests of the capital Dushanbe will be able to visit an outdoor bazaar of handicrafts, explore a variety of stalls offering bright wall carpets, jewelry and ceramics.
Other cities and communities across Tajikistan will see festive events, too.
Tajikistan and its leader have received Independence Day greetings from the heads of leading states around the world.