Farkhor Air Base
Farkhor Air Base is a Tajik military air base located near the town of Farkhor in Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

, 130 kilometres (80.8 mi) south east of the capital Dushanbe
-Economy:Coal, lead, and arsenic are mined nearby in the cities of Nurek and Kulob allowing for the industrialization of Dushanbe. The Nurek Dam, the world's highest as of 2008, generates 95% of Tajikistan's electricity, and another dam, the Roghun Dam, is planned on the Vakhsh River...

. It was expected to become an Indian military base
Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, supported by three paramilitary forces and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.The President of India is...

 situated in a foreign country and just 2 km from the Tajik
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...



In 2001, the Indian military opened a 25-bed hospital at the base at Farkhor to treat Afghan Northern Alliance members injured in fighting with the Taliban, including military leader Ahmed Shah Massoud
Ahmed Shah Massoud
Ahmad Shah Massoud was a Kabul University engineering student turned military leader who played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, earning him the name Lion of Panjshir. His followers call him Āmir Sāhib-e Shahīd...

, who was rushed there after the suicide attack against him. After the September 11 attacks, Tajikistan offered its bases, including Farkhor, to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in its war against terror. The Indian military hospital unit was relocated inside Afghanistan with the progress of Northern Alliance forces. The U.S. had initially shown interest in the base, but that did not proceed any further. (See also Karshi-Khanabad
Karshi-Khanabad is an air base in southeastern Uzbekistan, just east of Karshi. It is home to the 60th Separate Mixed Aviation Brigade of the Uzbek Air Force. A section of the base serves as a commercial airport, supporting a limited number of passenger flights.From 1954 to 1981, the 735th Fighter...

 and Ganci air bases.)
  • The following paragraph apparently deal with Ayni Air Base near Dushanbe, not with Farkhor Air Base near the Afghan border. Further verification required

Reports began circulating in April 2006 that the Indian air base at Farkhor in Tajikistan was operational. Both Indian and Tajik officials issued immediate denials, but they did admit that India had been renovating the base since 2002. When fully operational, the Indian base was expected to host 12 to 14 MiG-29 fighter bombers, according to various reports.

Strategic location and geopolitical implications

The Farkhor Air Base would give the Indian military the required depth and range in seeking a larger role in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and is a tangible manifestation of India’s move to project its power in Central Asia, a policy goal formally enunciated in 2003–2004.

The potential implications of this base go far beyond the Indo-Pakistani rivalry on the subcontinent. Former Pakistan President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

 raised concerns to the Tajik government of the fact that Indian planes would be able reach Pakistan within minutes using the air base. More importantly, Russia, a key partner of Tajikistan, has also expressed its opposition to any military presence in Tajikistan except that of Russia.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.