Ashurboi Imomov, Harold H. Saunders, Gennady Chufrin

Participants in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the framework of the Dartmouth Conference sat down for the first time together in a Moscow conference room in March 1993, thirteen months before the beginning of official U.N. mediated negotiations. Although they came as individuals, they reflected their backgrounds in different regions, political movements and nationalities in Tajikistan. Working together through nineteen three-day meetings over more than four years, they learned to talk, think and act together in new ways that reflect their commitment to what they called in that first meeting a "united, secular and democratic Tajikistan." In some ways, they became a microcosm of how a unified Tajikistan might work together for the future of the country.

The most important evidence of that statement lies in the memoranda that they produced in those meetings as both destructive and constructive developments in the country unfolded. Those memoranda, shared over these four years with only a small circle of those directly involved in the official peace process, are published here in the hope that they may now contribute in the post-accord period to the fulfilment of national reconciliation and of the aspirations for a united and developing country. The Dialogue now publishes them to encourage other citizens of Tajikistan outside government to come together in similar dialogues on what kind of future Tajikistanis want for their country.

The Dartmouth Conference is the longest continuous bilateral dialogue between citizens of the Soviet Union and now Russia and citizens of the United States. It met first in October 1960 at Dartmouth College in the United States and has alternated meetings in the two countries ever since. In 1981, the plenary meeting of the Dartmouth Conference decided to create two task forces-one in arms control and one in Soviet-U.S. interaction in regional conflicts. The purpose of these task forces was to probe the interactions of the two superpowers in areas where their interactions were particularly intense and therefore created special opportunities for understanding the dynamics of the overall Soviet-U.S. relationship. The hope was that understanding more fully the dynamics of a hostile relationship might help to transform it into a peaceful relationship.

In 1992, the Dartmouth Regional Conflicts Task Force, which had met twice each year since 1982, made two decisions: First, they described the process of sustained dialogue that participants had developed over those ten years. The co-chairs described a five-stage process of dialogue in a joint article titled "A Public Peace Process." Second, the task force decided to explore the possibility of beginning a sustained dialogue under its auspices in one of the new conflicts that had broken out in the Commonwealth of Independent States. They chose Tajikistan.

Russian members of the Task Force went to Tajikistan and talked with more than one hundred individuals at the second and third levels of their organizations. They explained the experience of sustained dialogue and ascertained readiness and willingness to participate. Selecting participants is a crucial first phase of any sustained dialogue.

Responding to this invitation from the Dartmouth Conference, Tajikistani participants accepted the principles of dialogue that had evolved through more than thirty years in that international movement. Participants agreed to come and to speak in their individual capacity, not formally representing any organisation. They agreed to listen carefully to other participants and to treat the views of others respectfully. They also agreed to speak straightforwardly, from the heart, and with respect for the integrity and sensitivities of other participants. They agreed that they would not attribute to any participant outside of the meetings views expressed within the meetings. They agreed that they could not speak for the group unless all members of the group had agreed in advance. Participants in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue agreed early, as had participants in the Dartmouth Conference, that particular members would discreetly inform key figures in the government and other leaders of their experience in the Dialogue without identifying views held by particular participants. As had been the case with the Dartmouth Conference, high government leaders accepted the existence of the Dialogue without any involvement or responsibility for its work.

As was also the experience in the Dartmouth Conference, the Inter-Tajik Dialogue has become what we have called "a mind at work" in the midst of unfolding situations and relationships. Unlike a working group formed to solve a specific problem, the Dialogue became a group that reflected on the changing situation in their country and designed approaches that might move the country forward constructively. The documents produced by participants in the Dialogue which are brought together in this small volume thus present an evolving comprehensive political approach to making peace and achieving national reconciliation in Tajikistan in the face of changing circumstances and challenges.

In the first three meetings of the Dialogue (March, May and August 1993), participants spent their time responding to the questions of one of the co-moderators: "What do you feel are the causes of the civil war in Tajikistan? What do you feel are ways out of the violence?" Their responses produced a broad mapping of the relationships and problems that underlay the violent conflict. This work of putting out on the table all of the major perspectives, grievances and feelings about the principal groups involved in the political life of the country and in its internal conflict is an essential part of the opening rounds of any sustained dialogue and becomes the foundation for constructive forward-looking work. It is the second stage of the five stage process.

In their third meeting on a warm August afternoon in the old Kremlin at Rostov Veliky, one of the participants brought this phase of the Dialogue to a natural close when he said reflectively: "We must focus on how to begin negotiations between the government and the opposition on creating conditions for the refugees to return home. Until such negotiations produce an agreement and end the violence, normal political life and nation-building cannot begin in Tajikistan. We cannot rebuild economically or politically as long as people fear for their lives and as long as one of every seven Tajikistanis has fled her or his home."

The next stage in the Dialogue began as participants agreed to concentrate on this problem above all others, to explore the dynamics of resistance to negotiations and to identify the problems that would need to be dealt with if negotiations were to begin. In the fourth session of the Dialogue, participants met in Vladimir in October in the wake of further deterioration in conditions in Tajikistan and in the wake of the shelling of the Russian White House. For two days, they discussed in depth the obstacles standing in the way of beginning negotiations.

Foremost among those obstacles was the fact that the opposition was geographically dispersed and ideologically diffuse. Spread out from Tehran and northern Afghanistan through the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and including Islamists and democrats, they seemed impossible to bring together around one table with government negotiators. Also prominent among the obstacles was the question of how to deal with individuals "with blood on their hands."

Within two months after that meeting of the Dialogue, members of the main factions of the opposition met in Tehran and adopted a common platform. Although the Dialogue cannot know what influence its discussions may have had on that step by opposition forces, two participants in the Dialogue were signatories of that platform and four became members of the steering council in the Coordinating Centre in the Commonwealth of Independent States (Moscow). When in Dialogue No. 5 (January 1994) in Moscow opposition participants reported carefully on the opposition platform, progovernment participants questioned them in depth with great persistence. After a day and a half devoted to this exchange, pro-government participants said that they would report what they had heard to the government with the personal judgement that the basis for negotiation might well now exist.

A few weeks later, the Government of Tajikistan reported to an emissary of the United Nations Secretary-General its readiness to participate in U.N.-sponsored negotiations. Again, knowing the multiple influences on any government decision, participants in the Dialogue do not claim credit for the government's decision, but a high Tajikistani official who participated in that decision said the Dialogue had played a significant role. "It was no longer possible for opponents of negotiation to argue credibly that serious dialogue between government and opposition was impossible." The beginning of negotiations was scheduled for April.

Against that background, the Dialogue at its sixth meeting in March 1994 produced the first in a series of memoranda reflecting on the challenges facing Tajikistan and offering approaches for meeting those challenges. This memorandum-the first in this volume-was titled, "Memorandum on the Negotiation Process in Tajikistan."

The approach outlined in that memorandum was unique in proposing that the negotiating teams, in addition to their efforts to produce a written peace agreement, make the negotiations the centre of a complex political process for uniting the country, creating opportunities for broadly based cooperation among factions and engaging citizens in a process for national reconciliation and formation. To accomplish this purpose, the negotiating teams were to "create, coordinate and oversee" four working groups. Those groups were to propose political processes that would both implement the decisions from the negotiations and generate experiences in working together across lines of fragmentation and hostility. When the negotiators met in Moscow in April, three participants in the Dialogue were delegates in the negotiating teams.

Once negotiations had begun, participants in the Dialogue meeting in quick succession in May in Moscow and in June in the United States, made two significant decisions. They believed emphatically that the Dialogue must continue alongside the official peace process. As one participant said, "We played a significant role in enabling the negotiations to begin; we can play a significant role in helping them to succeed." Second, recognising that their first objective-the beginning of negotiations-had been achieved, they formulated as their next focus designing a political process of national reconciliation.

In formulating that new objective, they identified as one important question how to design a political system that would represent the interests of different regions, political parties and movements, and nationalities in Tajikistan. That was the subject of a four-hour dialogue that took place before an invited audience at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. in June 1994. In Dialogue No. 8 that followed in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States, the Dialogue expressed the view that holding free democratic elections to the Supreme Soviet and a referendum on the new constitution made it "necessary to create a situation which would ensure the participation of all the segments of society regardless of their political, ethnic, regional or religious affiliation." As the political process unfolded, that approach was overtaken by a government timetable for an early referendum on the constitution to be immediately followed by presidential and parliamentary elections that did not favour inclusion of all political elements.

Overtaken by that timetable, Dialogue No. 9 in September 1994 focused in detail on a long list of obstacles to national reconciliation and on steps for overcoming them. Although the Dialogue decided then that it would be unwise to release any memoranda during the period of elections, participants agree now that the main direction of the discussion at this meeting should be recounted here because of its relevance to the post-accord situation.

As participants identified a wide range of obstacles to a process of national reconciliation, they concluded that the principal obstacle to agreement on a process is the absence of political thinking that would lead to confidence that power can be shared, that genuine coalitions are possible and that losers will not be excluded and do not need to fear for their lives. Pervading this discussion was a recognition that all sides seemed to be fighting for exclusive power, that, in the words of one participant, "the idea of service to the common interests of the people is not prevalent."

Participants then identified a broad range of steps that might be taken to build the necessary confidence. As they discussed those steps, they came to a fundamental problem: because mutual confidence did not exist, neither side would take the first step. For instance, the sequencing of steps toward disarmament posed a dilemma. The government took the position that there could be no political settlement until disarmament of opposition forces was complete; the opposition held that it could not disarm until it was confident of sharing power fairly in a coalition government. Broadening the discussion beyond this one example, one participant suggested: "There are three interrelated blocks of problems. Each block should have its own solution. Each solution should be carried out in coordination with the solutions in the other blocks." In other words, small steps in different areas could interact to build confidence. A scenario of interactive steps could be agreed in advance, so that good performance on each side could reinforce confidence. The Dialogue at this point was working in the fourth stage of sustained dialogue-a stage of designing an interactive political process that could gradually change relationships within the country.

Participants also recognized that building confidence is not the work of officials alone; non-governmental groups of citizens could also play an important role. As one participant stated, there should be some kind of "draft agreement among public organizations to support the agreed political process." Summarizing, one of the moderators noted that the political process of national reconciliation the participants were discussing is not limited to formal negotiations. The interaction between individual concrete acts creates an overall political process in which there are several levels-the formal negotiations, the dialogue within and among public organizations on a public level, dialogue at the grassroots in different regions and the support of external factors.

In the context of involving the public in the political process, participants returned repeatedly to the idea of convening a council of elders. They had discussed since their first or second meeting convening a "Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan," but once again they saw the idea of a council of elders as a way of rooting new public organizations in traditional Tajik culture.

Coupled with the idea of an interactive political process of national reconciliation, participants discussed the need for "social reconciliation" to heal the fragmentation along ethnic and regional lines. "All groups must conclude they are part of one whole society."

Dialogue No. 11 met in March 1995 after the general elections. Though the elections were conducted in the opinions of international organizations with serious breaches of international standards, the Dialogue rejected any idea of trying to overturn the results of those elections. Instead participants declared that it is necessary to work out the concept of a "transitional period". In that period, the objective would be to lay the foundations for a process of national reconciliation and development of a genuinely inclusive democratic political process. At that time they thought of a two-year transitional period.

When the Inter-Tajik negotiations failed in May 1995 in Alma Aty to agree on discussed programs of national reconciliation, Dialogue No. 12 completed on June 22 a "Memorandum on National Reconciliation in Tajikistan." It urged confidence building measures that would help create "conditions for agreement on a mechanism for national reconciliation." As may be seen in the text of that memorandum in this book, it urged creation of two kinds of bodies: (1) a coordinating council for national reconciliation to be created under the authority of the Inter-Tajik Negotiations including representatives of principal regions, political parties and movements, and national communities to implement the decisions of the negotiations through commissions on internal security and disarmament, refugees and temporarily displaced persons, democratic law and practice, and national economic development; (2) one or two public bodies-a Political Consultative Committee or a Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan-"to bring together citizens from all regions, political parties and movements, and national communities to consider and solve important questions facing the people of Tajikistan."

The "Protocol on the Main Principles of Peacemaking and National Accord in Tajikistan," signed by Mr. Emomali Rakhmonov, president of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Mr. Said Abdullo Nuri, leader of the Tajik Opposition, on August 17, 1995, under United Nations mediation included their agreement on the creation of a Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan. This idea had been "in the air" for some time; the Dialogue put it into context along with other options.

Meeting a month later in Pushkin, Russia, Dialogue No. 13 produced a memo, "Regarding the Consultative Forum/Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan." It detailed the proposed functions, mechanisms of decision-making and mechanisms of implementing decisions and approaches to determining the composition of the Forum. It recognized that the responsibility for bringing the Forum into being must lie within the jurisdiction of the Organizing Committee which was to be set up by a joint decision of the government and the opposition. In subsequent meetings, the Dialogue repeatedly urged early convening of the Consultative Forum as a public space where Tajikistani citizens could engage in the broader dialogue on the direction they wanted their country to take.

Meeting for the first time in Tajikistan in May, 1996, the Dialogue in its sixteenth round produced its most sober memo up to that time. Participants expressed the belief that "the territorial integrity and even the sovereignty of Tajikistan comes under serious threat." They repeated their long held conviction that "the primary obstacle to peace in Tajikistan is the absence of an adequate understanding on sharing power among the regions, political movements, and nationalities in Tajikistan." They believed that "this is essential in giving all citizens practical opportunities to participate fully in the political, economic and social life of the country." They urged the government and opposition to undertake "in some combination" steps such as the following: establishment of a Coordinating Commission; broadened participation in government; broadened participation in the Inter-Tajik Negotiations; meetings between leaders; early establishment of the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan; and an international conference assembled by the United Nations. "Some combination of such steps," they concluded, "is essential to reversing the present spiral of disillusionment and to providing a foundation for hope and a positive change in the lives of Tajikistani citizens."

In Dialogue No. 17, meeting outside Moscow in October 1996, participants produced a memorandum which was significant in its recognition and naming of the importance of a peace process large enough to engage the full spectrum of the peoples in Tajikistan: "It is necessary to broaden public participation in the efforts to achieve peace by developing a multi-level peace process in order to assure the widest popular involvement in achieving and implementing a nationwide peace agreement." Encouraged by initiatives taken at the local level to negotiate a cease fire agreement in Karategin Valley (Garm Protocol) they urged "extending the process of agreements on security and cease-fire at the local level... establishing immediately the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan as a popular mechanism for a nationwide dialogue on the future of Tajikistan" where citizens could develop "a common vision about what kind of country the Tajikistani people want their country to become. A central element in that vision must be an understanding on sharing power among the representatives of the regions, political parties, social movements and national communities in Tajikistan...." They further urged enlargement of the negotiating teams and, in order to work on several levels simultaneously, adoption of the practice of including under the negotiating teams working groups of experts and advisors to involve field commanders and local officials as appropriate. To implement a peace agreement, they returned to the recommendation of a Committee on National Reconciliation under the negotiating teams. As a mechanism to stimulate civil society, Dialogue participants encouraged the citizens of Tajikistan "to strengthen and develop the growing network of citizens' associations and nongovernmental organizations."

Participants of the eighteenth round in February 1997, expressed deep concern over "a new serious threat to internal stability..., i.e. a deepening fragmentation of national political life." A memorandum from this meeting stated that "acceleration and deepening of a multi-level peace process is required to meet this threat."

Throughout this experience, participants in the Dialogue deepened their own insight into the problems of their country and into the processes of national reconciliation. Having met as virtual enemies, they gradually evolved into a group that treated each participant with respect, developed approaches built around the interests and needs of all the citizens of Tajikistan, and gradually developed a political strategy for building a country which had never before existed in its present geographical shape.

From the very beginning the main goals of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue were as follows:

-definition of the conflict and determining the causes of the conflict and its driving forces;

-searching for ways of resolving the conflict;

-informing the world community of the actual nature of this conflict and involving that community in the process of reconciliation in Tajikistan;

-helping conflicting parties in their search for ways of achieving national peace and reconciliation;

-helping to develop civil initiatives to achieve peace and reconciliation in Tajikistan.

In the view of participants, contributions of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue to the process of national reconciliation include:

-assisting the negotiating parties in a detailed consideration of specific issues such as the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan;

-discussing in depth the issues dealt with at the official negotiations, such as a necessity of forming new political structures in the transitional period, forming working groups to solve important socio-political issues (refugees, disarmament, legal and socio-economic problems), achieving peace in particular regions;

-developing proposals for maximum involvement of all levels of the society in the process of national reconciliation, including non-governmental organizations, and using traditional institutions for resolving conflicts;

-organising mini-dialogues, helping to develop courses in conflict resolution at five major universities, such as the Kulyab State University and the Tajik National State University, and at research institutes;

-organising special workshops on problems of conflict resolution in Dushanbe, Moscow and Washington;

-organising a workshop on negotiation for young diplomats in Moscow.

The overarching goal of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue is to render assistance in achieving peace and reconciliation. It has helped to develop a variety of approaches for resolving the Inter-Tajik conflict. That conflict has been so many-sided, so contradictory and so prolonged that from time to time the society would not only stop discussing ways of its resolution but would lose all hope of achieving peace and reconciliation in the country. Sometimes violence seemed to be the only way of consolidating the society. However, gradually it became clear that all kinds of violence would only sharpen contradictions and delay their resolution. This understanding has come gradually, and the Inter-Tajik Dialogue has played a supporting role in facilitating the peace process. In the course of the Dialogue its participants through long disputes and discussions came to a conclusion that the key to the settlement of the Tajik conflict could only be found by negotiating, by reaching a compromise and by stopping all violence. There can be no winners in a fratricidal civil war.

With its statements and appeals to the Government of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, the Inter-Tajik Dialogue urged them to realise the extreme danger of continuing confrontation and military activities. With its strong appeals for peace and national reconciliation, the Dialogue assisted in starting the official Inter-Tajik negotiations and in their progress. The appeals of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue to the participants in the conflict to recognise the necessity of moving towards one another, of continuing a search for compromise and of being ready for certain concessions for the sake of achieving peace and national reconciliation met with understanding and positive response from the majority of the population of the republic. These appeals were dictated by a noble goal-to stop the senseless conflict, to prevent its expansion, to localise it, to avoid its internationalisation and finally to prevent the Tajik state from self-destruction.

The Inter-Tajik Dialogue united people with different political views and with the passage of time was able to bring them together and to transform them into serious partners. But for such an atmosphere, the Dialogue would not have been able to reach purposeful results, positive on the whole. Participants in the Dialogue-despite their differences as independent individuals-were interested in a search for ways out of the national crisis, in achieving peace and national reconciliation. Recommendations contained in the memoranda of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue were strengthened by the independence and professionalism of its participants.

The Inter-Tajik Dialogue helped to attract the attention of the participants in the official Inter-Tajik negotiations to specific problems, which when solved, could assist in a further successful continuation of the negotiations. No one was to blame that recommendations of the Dialogue were not always realized immediately. Indeed it was because of the complexity and many-sidedness of the Inter-Tajik conflict that not all reasonable approaches to its resolution were adopted promptly.

The experience of organizing and conducting the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the framework of the Dartmouth Conference beyond reaching its main goal-resolving the conflict and achieving peace and national reconciliation-has still another very important meaning. This experience makes it possible for the participants in the Dialogue to use it in resolving other regional and local conflicts and to introduce the ideas of the Dialogue into the democratic structure of the civil society of Tajikistan.

The post-accord period of development raises new problems. Those who are interested in strengthening peace and national reconciliation may take part in settling these problems.

The Inter-Tajik conflict raised a great number of problems, and to settle them will require time. In the atmosphere of disorder and chaos there appeared a lot of people who live by violating legal norms and moral standards. They have accumulated great fortunes through robbery and violence which have become the norm of their living. Nowadays they are fiercely fighting for spheres of influence, redistribution of profitable positions and governmental posts. The complexity of the problem lies in the fact that criminal and corrupted elements have established a foothold in a lot of governmental positions, and it is not easy for the society to get rid of them. Very often, questionable or even outright criminal elements infiltrate law-enforcing agencies and interfere with their fighting criminal activities. Very often it is they who obstruct achievement of peace and reconciliation in Tajikistan, implementation of the agreements reached at the Inter Tajik negotiations, settlement of the problems of the post-accord period in the country and strengthening of trust and mutual understanding.

Under these circumstances, development of all democratic institutions of a civil society and their successful functioning help to involve people in solving difficult problems.

During four years of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue, serious political changes have taken place in Tajikistan. First of all, is a transformation of views and relations between the Government and the opposition-from hostile relations to a gradual rapprochement and finally to a joint search for ways out of the crisis. This rapprochement did not happen by itself but due to the efforts of many interested in achieving genuine peace and national reconciliation in Tajikistan. Recognition of their importance carried appeals of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue to the opposing sides for their rapprochement, showed the error of their claims to be exclusive representatives of the people and especially the futility of their hopes to overcome the opponent. In conflicts of this kind, as a rule, there are no winners; finally both sides turn out to be losers.

The role of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue is clearly seen also in conveying participants' analysis to international organizations, the United Nations (UNO) in particular, about the actual causes, motives and subjects of the Inter-Tajik conflict. Having received these analyses, the UNO represented by emissaries of the United Nations Secretary General took an active part in settling the Inter-Tajik conflict. Being in the midst of activities they often averted complication of the situation and prevented a new turn in the dangerous confrontation. International organizations did a lot to explain to the world community what danger the Inter-Tajik conflict presented to world peace.

The Tajikistani participants in the Dialogue representing different sides of the political spectrum not only helped to provide the Dialogue with up-to-date information on the state of the Inter-Tajik conflict. Every time returning to their homes in Tajikistan they assisted in the dissemination of ideas, principles and decisions of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue in the republic.

The Government of Tajikistan was regularly informed about the work of the Dialogue. Some participants of the Dialogue spread ideas of the Dialogue among wide circles of the community through newspapers, in auditoriums and at scientific forums.

The authority of the participants in the Dialogue, their professionalism and their independent opinions on the most complicated aspects of the Inter-Tajik conflict have inspired trust and understanding.

Protocols of the official Inter-Tajik negotiations and agreements on organization of political structures contain measures implementation of which will require, among other things, adoption of legal acts by competent government authorities to ensure their realization. Support of these conciliatory documents and legal acts which result from them should become a matter of concern and attention of those who value the cause of peace and national reconciliation in Tajikistan. The Inter-Tajik Dialogue as well as mini-dialogues functioning in Tajikistan should help this process.

The essence, the main purpose, the spirit of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue are similar to those democratic institutions, traditions and customs which existed in the Tajik society for ages.

The Inter-Tajik Dialogue, in effect, continues in the spirit of Tajik traditions by conducting the mini-dialogues which have already started functioning and without doubt have a prospect for developing. The first mini-dialogue has been organized in Dushanbe which brings together scholars, writers and poets to discuss the problem of regionalism, to study its causes and roots and to find ways of overcoming its divisive consequences. It is worth stressing that the organizer of this mini-dialogue is one of the participants of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue. Using her experience, she involved authoritative people who know the problem of regionalism, its roots and its consequences. The group held six rounds of the mini dialogue in the first half of 1997, and its businesslike work gives hope for its progress and effective development. Participants in the mini-dialogue gain experience in the joint search for ways of resolving the most complicated problems of the society.

The scope for functioning of mini-dialogues in Tajikistan is enormous. The post-Soviet period in Tajikistan is burdened with a multitude of problems which must be properly discussed and resolved through a common effort. These problems became even more complicated because of the Inter-Tajik conflict which represents in the concentrated form all existing socio-political contradictions and problems.

Mini-dialogues can be organized on issues of national importance as well as on local issues. In our view they might be as follows:

1. Regionalism: Its positive and negative aspects. Struggle against the negative influence of regionalism on government structures and on selection of people for government jobs as well as against protectionism and regional clans.

2. Problems of overcoming consequences of the civil war-the need for economic restoration and overcoming inter-regional alienation and hostility. Support for confidence-building measures among regions of the republic.

3. Multi-party system; ethics of inter-party struggle; participation of public organizations in the formation and activities of elected government organs; principles of their relationship; functioning of public organizations within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan.

4. Interethnic relationships; strengthening of interethnic relations, overcoming obstacles standing in the way of constructive interethnic relationships; developing interethnic contacts at the level of the individual, family, village, town and region. Working out a mechanism for considering the interests of ethnic minorities at all levels of governmental structures and public organizations.

5. Problems of women's equality with men, their social, economic, political, legal and family needs.

6. Problems of a family, attitude of the society towards the presently developing tendency toward polygamy; status of illegitimate children; attitude to families with many children, to abortions and to the age of marrying.

7. Development of entrepreneurship, its encouragement and its limits, measures to be taken against monopolization, ethics of business activity and freedom of competition.

8. Freedom of the press, governmental and private mass media, guarantees of freedom of information, competition and antimonopolistic competition.

9. Freedom of conscience; liberalization of the legislation on religion; re-

lationship between governmental organs and religious organizations; penetration

of the Muslim ceremonies into traditions and customs of the society; religion and politics.

10. Issues of education, medical service, social security, municipal service, sanitary conditions, environment and ecological safety. Prospects of their further development.

11. Issues of observing the law, of securing public order, rights and freedoms of an individual, cleansing of the law-enforcing agencies of corrupted and criminal elements.

12. Involvement of refugees who returned to their motherland from the far and near abroad into the socio-economic life of Tajikistan, rendering help for their reintegration and providing them with jobs, helping in reconstruction of their houses, providing them with necessary privileges, securing their safety and guaranteeing their rights and freedoms.

Non-governmental organizations as an important institution of a civil society play an effective role in proliferation of the practice of organising and holding mini-dialogues. Growth of their number and further enhancement of their functioning can intensify their role in preventing conflicts in the society and in advocating ideas of peace and national reconciliation. They are first steps in forming public opinion on the above mentioned issues.

It is necessary to emphasise that in Tajikistan development of the noble ideas and principles of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the framework of the Dartmouth Conference depends on many factors. But the main one among them is strengthening of democratic processes that may help to spread the practice of dialogues.

* * *

As this book was in the final stages of publication, it was our privilege to hold the twentieth meeting of the Dialogue-the first meeting in the new post-accord phase that began with the signing of the peace agreement from the Inter-Tajik Negotiations on June 27, 1997. We include the memorandum from that meeting to demonstrate our conviction that the Dialogue will play as important role in the period of post-conflict peace-building ahead as it did in the peacemaking phase of the past four and a half years.

March 4, 1994
on the Negotiation Process in Tajikistan

The Tajikistan Dialogue of the Dartmouth Conference has met six times since March 1993. It has involved participants reflecting a broad range of perspectives and positions on the situation in Tajikistan. Their meetings have been moderated by American and Russian members of the Dartmouth Conference Task Force on Regional Conflicts.

Having taken into consideration:

-the importance of a political settlement, establishment of a stable peace, and civil reconciliation;

-recent statements of both sides on the necessity to start negotiations aimed at achieving peace, stability, and development of the republic including the statement of the opposition that it relinquishes any claim to political power;

-the need to create conditions for holding a referendum on the constitution and election of a new parliament on the basis of a multi-party system and respect for human rights and freedom in a democratic state;

the members of the Dialogue address to the leaders of the Republic of Tajikistan and of the opposition these ideas on beginning and organising negotiations between government and opposition forces.

The common tasks of the negotiating team are:

1) to agree on a plan for cooperation of all who must be involved-including national minorities-to end violence, restore public safety, and create conditions for the return of refugees;

2) to agree on a draft constitution, to plan organisation of a nationwide public deliberation in preparation for a referendum on that constitution, and to design creation of conditions for free, democratic elections;

3) to plan political processes for national reconciliation and formation;

4) to agree on organisation of a national task force on economic stabilisation and development.

To accomplish these tasks, the negotiating team will create, coordinate, and oversee the following working groups:

I. The Working Group on Public Safety and Return of Refugees will:

1. agree on a cease-fire;

2. present an immediate plan for disarmament of all armed formations that do not respond to the conditions and requirements of the policy of national and civic reconciliation;

3. present a longer-term plan for the full and complete disarmament of the population to constrain criminal activity and general public violence.

This plan will include provisions for:

a) a commission to organise cooperation of all who must be involved;

b) a peacekeeping force to accomplish the disarmament (Russian forces have been suggested);

c) developing a tactical plan and timetable by regions for the disarmament;

d) coordinating implementation with return of refugees;

4. present the outline of a plan which would be adapted to conditions in each region for return of refugees to places of their former residence with appropriate compensation. If they cannot return to their former residences, they should by all means receive compensation.

This plan would include provisions for:

a) collection of data on refugees, on their intent to return, and on place of


b) a commission to organise cooperation of all who must be involved, including creation of regional commissions and coordination with international and non-governmental organizations;

c) coordinating the return of refugees with economic activity to provide jobs and to meet basic human needs.

II. The Working Group on the Constitution and Political Reform will:

1. discuss and agree on the final draft of the constitution;

2. agree on a process of public deliberation on the draft constitution, including steps necessary for creating conditions for open deliberation;

3. agree on organisation of a referendum on the constitution;

4. agree on the process for holding free and democratic elections;

5. agree on timing of the first election under the new constitution;

6. propose an overall timetable for this whole process that would build confidence in the constitution and new political practices.

III. The Working Group on Political Process and National Reconciliation will give special attention to designing political processes and institutions to make the constitution work as a realistic foundation for the formation and development of a Tajikistani state. For instance, it could:

1. review regional plans for return and resettlement of refugees and propose ways of conducting this process that could promote reconciliation in communities and regions;

2. review plans for public deliberation and elections to propose ways of conducting those processes that would promote development of national political practices and institutions;

3. propose steps for dealing with grievances and violations of rights during the civil war in a way that will promote national reconciliation over time;

4. consider plans for participation of national minorities in the democratic transformation of the state and political processes as full-fledged members of the society.

IV. A Working Group on Economic Rehabilitation and Development will consider proposals to establish special commissions that would work on developing a national economic reform program. Before such a group is formed, the negotiating team should consider whether these tasks might be performed more effectively by the Working Group on Public Safety and Return of Refugees.

1. In the short term, the Group will coordinate economic rehabilitation in destroyed areas to which refugees are returning and design job training and other programs for disarmed persons;

2. In the longer term, the Group will plan and oversee a comprehensive economic development effort.

3. It will propose ways for development of the entrepreneurship and consider prospects for creating new jobs.

The negotiating team will assure appropriate coordination and connection among the activities of the Working Groups.

June 22, 1995
of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue

Within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference on National Reconciliation in Tajikistan

The Inter-Tajik Dialogue of the Dartmouth Conference met in June 19-22 in Russia for the twelfth time since March 1993. Building on discussions in the past four meetings, the Dialogue focussed on a political process for moving from civil war to peace, stability, democracy and economic development.

The participants in the Dialogue concentrated their attention on the elaboration of a program of actions:

1. A near-term period of reciprocal efforts by government and opposition to create conditions for the conclusion of an agreement on a mechanism to design and oversee a political process of national reconciliation.

2. A longer-term period in which the Inter-Tajik negotiations will create a Coordinating Council for National Reconciliation to guide the activities of four work commissions to direct the implementation of decisions of the Inter-Tajik negotiations.

In addition, there should be formed in the Republic a Political Consultative Council, and a Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan should be convened to bring together citizens from all regions, political parties and movements and national communities to consider and solve important questions facing the people of Tajikistan. The Political Consultative Council will make recommendations for the consideration of the President and the Majlis. The procedure for deciding the convocation, status, functions and powers of the Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan shall be determined during the Inter-Tajik negotiations.


1. To reconcile all the citizens of Tajikistan regardless of their regional, political and nationality membership within a sovereign, democratic, law-governed, secular and unified state.

2. To provide safety and security for all citizens based on rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

3. To develop broad participation in the functioning of the political system and the affairs of the civil society on the basis of insuring equal participation in power among all regions, political parties and movements and national communities.

4. To develop the economy of Tajikistan on the basis of different forms of property and its active inclusion into the world economy. All the citizens of the country should be given equal rights and opportunities to participate in the economic activities of the country.

5. Development of the constitutional process with a view of further democratisation of its norms and statutes. Formulation of the structure and functions of organs mentioned in this memorandum.


In the interests of national reconciliation and speedy recovery from the deep political and socio-economic crisis that struck Tajikistan, it is expedient that the following confidence-building measures be undertaken:

1. A permanent cease-fire is to be established and all other hostilities are to be stopped both along the border with Afghanistan and inside Tajikistan itself.

2. Arrested and war prisoners are to be exchanged or unilaterally released.

3. Amnesty is to be declared for all those who participated in the civil war.

4. Proper conditions are to be created for the return and resettlement of refugees and forcefully displaced persons.

5. The ban on political parties and movements whose activities were forbidden should be lifted.

6. Freedom of speech and press should be guaranteed.


Participants in the Inter-Tajik negotiations will create the Coordinating Council for National Reconciliation.

The Council shall include representatives of the principal regions, political parties and movements and national communities of Tajikistan.

On the authority of decisions of the participants in the negotiations, the Coordinating Council will implement decisions from the negotiations through four commissions. These commissions will take their instructions from the Coordinating Council. The following commissions will be established:

The Commission on Internal Security and Disarmament will be concerned with security on both regional and national levels. Specifically, it will focus on:


-public safety, including establishment of security zones where special problems exist and where international observers may be needed;

-ceasefire (noting that a joint commission to monitor the ceasefire already exists).

The Commission on Refugees and Temporarily Displaced Persons:




-humanitarian assistance.

The Commission on Democratic Law and Practice:

-constitutional development and rule of law;

-human rights;

-mass media;

-party development;

-NGO development.

The Commission on National Economic Development:

-rehabilitation of national economy and strategy of development;

-industrial development;

-agricultural reform;

-banking system;

-small business;

-nationwide marketing;

-economic education.

The commissions will have the authority to promote the unification of efforts of government and non-governmental organizations to resolve specific problems.


1. Rahim Hashimov and Tagai Rakhmonov insisted on the following addition to paragraph 5 of Overall Tasks:

"All these organs will be complementary and not competitive to one another or to any government organs."

2. Zaid Saidov said that a "Coordinating Council for National Reconciliation" should be titled "National Reconciliation Council" and its status, functions and tasks are to be determined in the course of Inter-Tajik negotiations.

of the 13th Round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference

At the 13th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the framework of the Dartmouth Conference, which took place in Pushkin, Russia, on September 11-14, 1995, the participants considered the issue of the Consultative Forum/Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan, called upon to promote the implementation of the process of national reconciliation in Tajikistan.

In their work, the participants of the Dialogue were guided by the provisions of the "Protocol on the Main Principles of Peace-making and National Accord in Tajikistan" signed by Mr. E. Rakhmonov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and Mr. Said Abdullo Nuri, leader of the Tajik Opposition, on August 17, 1995. In the process of their work, the participants in the Dialogue also referred to the memorandum of the 12th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the framework of the Dartmouth Conference, as of June 22, 1995.

The participants in the Dialogue focussed on the elaboration of options to implement the decision to establish the Consultative Forum/Congress as well as continuing to discuss steps to create conditions for making peace and reaching national accord in Tajikistan. According to the opinion of the participants in the Dialogue, the Consultative Forum/Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan to be established should perform the following functions:

1. To promote the development of the required conditions for all the political parties and public movements to function and to take part through their representatives in the State power bodies.

2. To promote further democratisation in Tajikistani society.

3. To promote reforming the state law-enforcement bodies, disintegration, disarmament and reintegration of the Opposition's armed groupings into the governmental armed forces or the civil sphere of the country.

4. To promote voluntary, safe, and honorary repatriation and reintegration of refugees and protection of their interests.

5. To promote the updating of the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan in the spotlight of the achieved mutual understanding of socio-political matters.

6. To elaborate recommendations on the restoration and development of the Republic's economy and its reforming.

7. To assist in social protection of all the strata of the population to provide civilised life conditions for every citizen.

The participants in the Dialogue agreed upon the following principles for a mechanism of decision-making within the Consultative Forum/Congress:

1. All the procedural issues related to the activities of the Forum/Congress shall be decided by a simple majority of the members' votes.

2. Decisions on the key issues related to the above-mentioned functions of the Forum/Congress shall be made by a qualified (two-thirds) majority of its members' votes.

3. Principal political problems of the relationships between the Government and the Opposition shall be decided through a consensus.

4. To prepare substantiated proposals, the Forum/Congress shall set up a Commission in charge of the elaboration of such draft proposals and their submission for consideration by the plenary meetings of the Forum/Congress.

The participants in the Dialogue also reached agreement on the mechanism

of implementing decisions of the Forum/Congress. In doing so they proposed the following:

1. The Forum/Congress shall form out of its membership a standing body-Presidium-under which committees and commissions might be set up.

2. The cooperation between the Forum/Congress and State bodies shall be guaranteed through the mutuality of decisions, the implementation of which shall be based on the acts of the relevant State body.

3. In case State bodies ignore the Forum's/Congress's decisions, the Forum/Congress or its Presidium can revisit the same issue and submit its second version in the same or new formulation to both the relevant State body and a UN representative and states-guarantors.

Having agreed that all the main political and public forces of the country, including the Opposition, as well as regions and ethnic communities, should be represented in the Consultative Forum/Congress, the participants in the Dialogue failed to formulate a single principle for the establishment of the Forum/Congress and for the apportionment rate between different political and public forces.

That is why in the course of the Dialogue two options of establishing the Forum/Congress were stated.

Supporters of the first option hold that since the Consultative Forum/Congress of the Peoples of Tajikistan is called upon to promote reconciliation between the confronting parties and national accord and taking into account the existing balance of the political forces, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the United Tajik Opposition, the two main parties sharing the entire burden of the confrontation, should be assigned 40% each of the total number of the Forum's/Congress's participants. The remaining 20% of the participants should be nominated by ethnic communities and non-governmental organizations. This implies that the first two groups shall comprise representatives of the regions (Badakhshan, Khatlon, Leninabad, Karategin, Guissar, and the City of Dushanbe) and public and political forces.

Supporters of the second option hold that since, apart from the Government and Opposition forces inside the Republic, there exist the old and the newly formed public and political forces with a considerable social background which profoundly influence the situation in the country, they should be given representation on equal footing with the government and the Opposition in the Forum/Congress, that is 50% of the total membership. In its turn a half of that number should be assigned to representatives of political parties and ethnic communities, while the other part should be assigned to representatives of public and professionally-oriented organizations. Thus the apportionment of the entire membership of the Forum/Congress shall be 25% : 25% : 25% : 25%.


In the opinion of the participants in the Dialogue the concrete procedural issues related to the establishment of the Forum/Congress should be within the jurisdiction of the Organizing Committee which is to be set up by a joint decision of the Government and the Opposition. At the same time it was proposed to include on the basis of parity representatives of the Government, Opposition and non-governmental public and political organizations into the Organizing Committee.

November 30, 1995


of the participants of the 14th round of the Tajik Dialogue within the framework of the Dartmouth Conference to the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov, the leader of the United Tajik Opposition Said Abdullo Nuri, the leadership of international organizations and the states-observers, the heads of the official delegations to the Tajik negotiations in Ashkhabad (Turkmenia)

Welcoming the agreements achieved by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov and the leader of the Tajik Opposition Said Abdullo Nuri regarding the basic principles of establishing peace and national reconciliation in Tajikistan stated by them in the Kabul Joint Protocol as of August 17, 1995, we assume it expedient and necessary to accelerate their realisation.

One of the most important means of resolving political problems in present day Tajikistan including the deepening of the process of democratisation in Tajik society is the convocation of the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan.

We believe that in the interests of the national reconciliation it is advisable to shift the date of the convocation of the Forum to the earliest time.

We also assume that to convene the Forum and guarantee its efficient functioning it is necessary to observe the following terms:

a) preliminary information coverage of the idea of the Forum in the mass media including those of the opposition;

b) involvement into the work of the Forum of the most distinguished representatives of the Tajikistani society including the opposition leaders, without limitations;

c) participation in the work of the Forum of international observers including those from the UN;

d) broad coverage by mass media of the work of the Forum and its working commissions as well as of their passed decisions and agreements;

e) holding of the Forum on the territory of the Republic of Tajikistan.

We address all interested parties with a persistent request to consider our recommendations and our Memorandum of the 13th round of the Tajik Dialogue of September 11-14, 1995 (the text is attached) in connection with the convocation of the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan and to take them into account in the course of the negotiations.

of the 15th Round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference

Participants of the 15th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference which took place in the city of Pushkin (Russia) on February 26-28, 1996, having analysed the current socio-political situation in Tajikistan and having noted its further aggravation, deem it necessary to speed up convening of the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan for the purpose of resolving the existing crisis and to hold it in the first half of 1996.

In the interests of guaranteeing the efficient and productive work of the Forum, participants of the dialogue consider it expedient to form an Organising Committee for convening and holding the Forum and to authorise it:

-to prepare a draft document on the procedure of holding the Forum, envisaging at its beginning presentation of speeches by the President of Tajikistan, by the leader of the United Tajik Opposition (UTO) and of information by the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy;

-to develop drafts of basic working documents of the Forum as well as a draft of a Declaration on the National Peace Accord to be further considered and approved by the Forum;

-to provide, jointly with the competent government bodies, for resolution of all organisation issues related to registration of the Forum participants, their accommodation, and personal security;

-to provide in coordination with the government of the country for a live broadcasting on the national radio and television speeches of the Forum participants.

Representatives of all major forces: the government, the UTO, public and political movements, and organizations acting inside the country.

Participants of the dialogue expressed, however, two different viewpoints as to the norms of representation of these socio-political forces in the Forum Organising Committee and in the Forum itself.

Supporters of the first viewpoint proceeded from the assumption that as long as the main responsibility for resolution of the current crisis situation is born by the government of Tajikistan and the UTO they should be given 40 per cent each of the total number of delegates of the Forum; the remaining 20 per cent may be allocated to the representatives of ethnic communities and other public and political organizations.

Supporters of the second viewpoint proceeded from the assumption that in the present situation neither the government nor the UTO reflect fully enough the interests of the entire social spectrum of the country; that is why, in their opinion, ethnic communities and other public and political organizations should be represented at the Forum on the parity basis with the government and the UTO.

Participants of the dialogue also believe that in order to guarantee an efficient implementation of the Forum's basic decisions of principal importance, it is expedient to obtain their approval of such decisions by consensus as distinct from approval of procedural and other secondary issues by simple majority.

If participants of the Forum refuse to approve any submitted draft resolutions, the latter should be returned to the Forum working commissions for reconsideration.

The adopted documents of the Forum may be open for further signing by these socio-political organizations, which have not been represented at the Forum.

of the 16th Round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference (Dushanbe, May 21-23, 1996)

At the 16th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue, which was held for the first time in Tajikistan, its participants exchanged opinions on the current state of the socio-political situation in the country and stated their deep concern over its serious deterioration. Confrontation among various political, regional, and clan interests has reached such a stage that they believe the territorial integrity and even the sovereignty of Tajikistan comes under serious threat.

Official negotiations between the government and the United Tajik Opposition, which are assigned to ensure the achievement of national reconciliation, have not, up to the present moment, achieved the results expected by the society.

Participants believe that the primary obstacle to peace in Tajikistan is the absence of an adequate understanding on sharing power among the regions, political movements, and nationalities in Tajikistan. They believe this is essential in giving all citizens practical opportunities to participate fully in the political, economic, and social life of the country.

In this context, participants in the Dialogue strongly urge the government of the country and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition to carry out immediately resolute actions aimed at ensuring peace and public reconciliation in Tajikistan.

In the opinion of participants in the Dialogue the achievement of these goals can be facilitated by undertaking in some combination steps such as the following:

1. Establishment of a Coordinating Commission

The negotiating teams would immediately create a broadly based working group to coordinate nationwide implementation of a peace agreement. This Commission would be responsible to the Inter-Tajik negotiations and would have the authority to bring together all elements of the Tajikistani government and society to accomplish agreed tasks in the areas of refugee settlement, disarmament, economic development, and constitution reform. (This option was described in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue's memorandum of June 1995.)

2. Broadened participation in government

Independently of the course of the negotiations, the government could undertake in the immediate future steps to widen participation in the government of the country on all levels-national, regional, and local-of representatives of all major socio-political forces.

3. Broadened participation in the Inter-Tajik negotiations

Each negotiating team would enlarge its delegation to include elements of those groups whose views are not adequately represented in the current negotiations.

4. Meetings between Leaders

A meeting between the President of Tajikistan and the Leader of the United Tajik Opposition in the nearest future would be useful in overcoming the deadlock in the negotiation that has emerged. It would be useful to examine during this meeting the fundamental obstacle to peace-the problem of a broader sharing of power within the constitutional framework to increase participation of citizens from the broadest possible range of regions, political movements, and nationalities.

5. Early establishment of the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan would create conditions which would permit a broadly representative group of Tajikistani citizens to express their views. (This step has already been agreed and needs to be implemented quickly.)

6. Ask the United Nations to assemble an international conference to assist the Inter-Tajik negotiations in reaching an early peace agreement.

Participants in the Dartmouth Conference Inter-Tajik Dialogue stressed that their purpose in listing these interrelated options is not to recommend any one of them but to urge that some of them be taken together to build a momentum for an early peace agreement. Some combination of such steps is essential to reversing the present spiral of disillusionment and to providing a foundation for hope and a positive change in the lives of Tajikistani citizens.

One of the participants objected to the proposal of setting up of the Coordinating Commission arguing that it might be interpreted as assignment of power functions to the Commission.

of the 17th Round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference (Moscow, October 8-10, 1996)

At the 17th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue, its participants described a mixed picture of developments in Tajikistan over the past four months. They felt that the peace process in their country is at a critical juncture.

They were encouraged by the initiative taken at the local level to negotiate the cease-fire agreement in Karategin Valley (Garm Protocol) with the encouragement of the Joint Commission on the observance of the Tehran agreements and the U.N. Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT), adopted by field commanders of the Karategin Valley and members of the State Commission of the Republic of Tajikistan. They were also encouraged by the agreement to establish a security zone on both sides of the border in the Khorog area which was reached with the participation of border guards and elders.

At the same time, they were deeply concerned by negative developments: the effectiveness of opponents of peace in government, opposition, and external forces; sharpening inter-ethnic and inter-regional divisions within Tajikistani society; the continuing hardships of economic life; and the absence of progress of the Inter Tajik negotiations toward a peace agreement.

Believing that it is essential to build momentum toward peace, participants recommended the steps below which are deeply rooted in their dialogue and conclusions since 1993.

It is necessary to broaden public participation in the efforts to achieve peace by developing a multi-level peace process in order to assure the widest popular involvement in achieving and implementing a nationwide peace agreement.

Both sides should give priority to crucial issues of power-sharing, amendments to the constitution, prospects of economic development, and conditions for effective involvement of the United Tajik Opposition in the normal political activity of Tajikistan. Specifically, participants in the Dialogue recommend:

A. Extending the process of agreements on security and cease-fire on the local level, following the example of the Garm Protocol. Participants urge completion of an agreement in the Tavil-Dara area and efforts to extend the peace process to other areas.

To accomplish this work, participants urge a substantial increase in the size, functions, and powers of the Joint Commission. Participants also urge inclusion of local political and administrative officials in future talks.

B. Establishing immediately the Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan as a popular mechanism for a nationwide dialogue on the future of Tajikistan.

Creation of the Consultative Forum was approved by the president of Tajikistan and the leader of the United Tajik Opposition in Tehran in July, 1995. Its approval was recorded in the Protocol published in Kabul in August 1995. The Inter-Tajik Dialogue wrote a memorandum on its organisation, method of work, and relation to the government in September 1995.

Participants believe that one of the main obstacles to peace is lack of a common vision about what kind of country the Tajikistani people want their country to become. A central element in that vision must be an understanding on sharing power among the representatives of the regions, political parties, social movements, and national communities in Tajikistan.

These questions must be the first agenda of the Consultative Forum. A common vision shared by the citizens of the country is the necessary foundation for a negotiated peace agreement.

C. As a mechanism for reaching a broadly based peace agreement, the government and opposition delegations to the Inter-Tajik Negotiations should broaden participation in the peace process as follows:

-each negotiating team would change its delegation in order to represent adequately the interests of all the layers and groups of the society;

-the negotiating teams would further develop their practice of working on several levels simultaneously.


(1) They will use working groups of experts and advisors to involve field commanders in making recommendations on military and security issues.

(2) They will also use such an expert group to involve local officials and administrators as appropriate.

The negotiating teams will invite suggestions from the Consultative Forum to broaden the involvement of citizens in the peace process.

D. As a mechanism to oversee implementation of a peace agreement, a Committee on National Reconciliation may be established to work within the framework of the constitution and the generally accepted norms of international law.

Participants in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue recommend that the Committee should include representatives of the principal regions, political parties and social movements, and national communities in Tajikistan.

The Dialogue participants further recommend that the Committee, whenever possible, work through effective existing joint commissions and other groups. For instance, a sub-committee on internal security and disarmament could work through the Joint Commission and the State Commission that negotiated the Garm Protocol.

E. As a mechanism to stimulate civil society, Dialogue participants encourage the citizens of Tajikistan to strengthen and develop the growing network of citizens associations and non-governmental organizations.

Dialogue participants also appeal to the government and the Majlis-i Oli to cooperate with citizens in writing and passing a series of laws that will constitute a legal framework that will enable these organizations to grow and to work effectively in building the civil society of Tajikistan.

Recent developments have demonstrated the importance of agreements and achievements at the local level. Only associations of citizens outside government working within the constitutional framework can enlarge the capacity of citizens to play their necessary role in building new Tajik society.

of the 18th Round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue within the Framework of the Dartmouth Conference (Pushkin, St.Petersburg, Russia, February 25-27, 1997)

Participants of the 18th round of the Inter-Tajik dialogue came to a conclusion after an intensive exchange of opinions that lately a new serious threat to internal stability has developed in Tajikistan, i.e. a deepening fragmentation of national political life. Acceleration and deepening of multi-level peace process is required to meet this threat.

This fragmentation of the political life is reflected in a growing number of regional groups as well as in emergence of numerous ambitious politicians and field commanders who are using in their advantage in their narrow interests the slow negotiation process between the Central government and the United Tajik Opposition (UTO).

These developments lead to growing regionalism, interethnic strife and criminalisation of the society. The situation has become so serious that in the opinion of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue participants neither the Central government nor the UTO are capable by now of exercising effective control over the total area of Tajikistan.

In order to prevent the situation from going completely out of control, participants of the 18th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue appeal to the Central government and leaders of UTO to accelerate the signing of the General agreement on national reconciliation that would include basic regulations providing political freedoms, disarmament and reintegration of military groups and return of refuges to their homes. An early conclusion of such an agreement should not be held hostage to tactical maneuvers of either contracting parties since any further delay in signing this agreement would play directly into the hands of those elements and destructive forces that are interested in maintaining a low intensity conflict situation in Tajikistan and even in its actual disintegration.

Signing of the General agreement on national reconciliation should not be, however, an end in itself since its implementation would be impossible without involvement in this process of a wide range of political and public groups representing a full diversity of regional and ethnic spectrum of Tajik society. The Commission for National Reconciliation will work during a period of transition to peace and national consent. It will promote the establishing of order and lay the foundation for the long-term development of Tajikistan.

According to the participants of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue, an early convocation of the Consultative Forum of the peoples of Tajikistan would help to overcome the further fragmentation of the Tajik society, regionalism and interclan contradictions, as well as to involve all forces in the country to the constructive discussion of the ways and methods of the regulation of the present conflict. This Forum is called upon to assist the implementation of functions and powers of the Commission for National Reconciliation. Moreover, the convocation of this Forum will further a broad representative basis for the citizens of Tajikistan to exchange views on the long-range perspectives of the development of their country. This Forum must open the way to the legal participation of the wide spectrum of political forces in the efforts to build a unite, democratic and secular nation.

of the 20th round of the Inter-Tajik Dialogue (October 27-29, 1997, Moscow)

At its 20th meeting, participants in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue discussed fundamental questions about the future of Tajikistan. Saluting the energetic approach of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), the participants attempted to formulate some important principles concerning the future structure of Tajikistan and considered it necessary to call attention to the solution of the following immediate practical problems.

I. First, according to the participants in the Dialogue the overarching priority is strengthening a unified Tajikistan. Although participants recognised the desirability of enhancing the effectiveness of regional and local government, they felt that at this moment of Tajikistan's development, it is more important to reinforce the unifying capacity of central government. At the same time, there is a need to achieve a balance of power between the executive and legislative branches in the government of Tajikistan. In the opinion of the participants, a reform of the Parliament is necessary in order to change the existing method of its election and organisation to enhance its effectiveness.

Second, it is essential to address urgently the subject of economic recovery. The Dialogue recommends that the Commission establish a working group on economic problems to include representatives of all regions of Tajikistan.

Third, participants emphasised that the process of national reconciliation must continue beyond the transitional period during which the National Reconciliation Commission will function. To provide a public space for continuing dialogue on strengthening national unity, the Dialogue continues to recommend a Consultative Forum of the Peoples of Tajikistan as an appropriate institution.

II. In order to expedite the resolution of the refugee problem, to protect social and economic rights of returning refugees, migrants and displaced persons and to ensure their security, participants recognised a need to carry out national policy on this subject

-taking into account compatibility of refugees, migrants and displaced persons with social, psychological or ethnic environment in places of their possible resettlement;

-taking into account wishes and desires of refugees, migrants and displaced persons themselves as to intended places of their resettlement;

-without any discrimination of rights and freedoms either against refugees, migrants and displaced persons or against the people living in places of resettlement;

-establishing employment and social adaptation centers throughout the republic, especially in places of resettlement.

III. On Disarmament and Military Reform.

Participants recognise that this bloc of issues carries a critical importance for the process of national reconciliation and therefore requires special attention.

The Commission on National Reconciliation will play a central role in resolving military issues; however, this mission may not be fully successful if larger sections of Tajikistani society do not take an active stand against the spread of criminal activities in the republic.

The success of the military reform will depend equally on a systematic reintegration of former opposition troops into the regular armed forces of the republic and on a careful attestation of servicemen of the government armed forces. It will also depend on reintegration of both into the normal political processes of the country.

The integration into the society and the economy of men who leave military service will require the assistance of the citizens of Tajikistan.

In conclusion, the participants in the Dialogue emphasised (1) that all above mentioned problems are interrelated and (2) that all of them will require the involvement of all the citizens of Tajikistan. The Dialogue underscores its recommendation that the commission and the government create necessary conditions for the people of Tajikistan to participate actively in the resolution of all outstanding problems and to consolidate the unity of the people of Tajikistan.

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