Human Rights Watch Press Backgrounder on Tajikistan

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Tajikistan shares a 1,200 kilometer border with Afghanistan and is one of the countries identified by military planners as a possible base of U.S. military and humanitarian operations in the region. Tajikistan has been a low priority for U.S. foreign policy makers since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Suddenly, it has become a strategic partner in the U.S. government's counter-terrorism campaign following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.. It is also a potential haven for tens of thousands of displaced people seeking to flee Afghanistan.