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Tajikistan (/tɑːˈkɪstɑːn/ (listen), /tə-, tæ-/; Tajik: Тоҷикистон, Persian: تاجیکستان, romanized: Tâjīkestân; Russian: Таджикистан, romanized: Tadzhikistan), officially the Republic of Tajikistan (Tajik: Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон, romanized: Jumhurii Tojikiston), is a landlocked country in Central Asia with an area of 143,100 km2 (55,300 sq mi) and an estimated population of 9,537,645 people. Its capital and largest city is Dushanbe. It is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north and China to the east. The traditional homelands of the Tajik people include present-day Tajikistan as well as parts of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

The territory that now constitutes Tajikistan was previously home to several ancient cultures, including the city of Sarazm of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including the Oxus Valley Civilisation, Andronovo Culture, Buddhism, Nestorian Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and Islam. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Achaemenid Empire, Sasanian Empire, Hephthalite Empire, Samanid Empire and the Mongol Empire. After being ruled by the Timurid dynasty and the Khanate of Bukhara, the Timurid Renaissance flourished. The region was later conquered by the Russian Empire and subsequently by the Soviet Union. Within the Soviet Union, the country's modern borders were drawn when it was part of Uzbekistan as an autonomous republic before becoming a full-fledged Soviet republic in 1929. (Full article...)

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Environmental issues in Tajikistan, include concentrations of agricultural chemicals and salts in the soil and groundwater, poor management of water resources, and soil erosion. Additionally, because of inadequate sanitation facilities, untreated industrial waste (particularly from aluminum production) and sewage combine with agricultural runoff to cause water pollution in the Aral Sea Basin. Soviet-Era mining operations in Tajikistan extracted and processed uranium, gold, antimony, tungsten, mercury, and molybdenum, each of which is known to leave toxic waste that also threatens water quality. Pockets of high air pollution caused by industry and motor vehicles have resulted in Tajikistan ranking 133rd in the world in greenhouse gas emissions. Air pollution is a particular problem during times of the year when atmospheric conditions hold industrial and vehicle emissions close to the surface in urban areas. In summer, dust and sand from the deserts of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan cause air pollution across the entire southwestern lowland region.

Although a destructive civil war, budget shortfalls, poverty, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union reduced industrial and agricultural activity, these issues, as well as the destruction of infrastructure and loss of Soviet programs (such as the Committee on Nature Protection, state-owned agriculture, and region-wide networks of hydro posts) have amplified environmental concerns. Additionally, the Tajik government is hesitant to acknowledge these concerns, which has tensed its regional relationships. Government to. (Full article...)

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... the Pamiri people of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in the southeast, bordering Afghanistan and China, though considered part of the Tajik ethnicity, nevertheless are distinct linguistically and culturally from most Tajiks?
In contrast to the mostly Sunni Muslim residents of the rest of Tajikistan, the Pamiris overwhelmingly follow the Ismaili sect of Islam, and speak a number of Eastern Iranian languages, including Shughni, Rushani, Khufi and Wakhi.
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Dushanbe, Capital of Tajikistan


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