The leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan may now be invited to India for the country’s Republic Day festivities on January 6, 2022.
“Invitations are being sent by the Centre to all five Central Asian countries for participation in the Republic Day celebrations next month. Central Asia is strategically important for India and also shares cultural and historical linkages with the region,” a source stated to BusinessLine.
If things go as planned, this shall be the first time that all Central Asian nations shall participate as guests on Republic Day. Leaders from 10 ASEAN nations were even invited in 2018 as guests for the celebrations.
To increase friendly ties
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister in 2015 visited the region to boost ties with the 5 nations. The five came out as independent states in 1991 after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. The region does not only have geographic proximity with India and is important strategically as it has China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in its neighborhood, it is even rich in resources and can serve to meet India’s growing needs of energy.
Moreover, the 5 nations share with India similar concerns in the areas of extremism and terrorism, the source further stated.