Implementation of conscription campaign has become a big problem for Sughd province.  The problem is so serious that the ministry of education and science has sent an official letter to Sughd-based higher educational institutions to universities to allow graduates to take state exams ahead of schedule so that they could be called up for military service.  

Asia-Plus has got a copy of the ministry’s letter.  

It, in particular, notes that fourth-year and fifth-year students, who want to serve their country, are allowed to take current and final exams ahead of schedule.  

The letter says this decision was made on the basis of a letter from the head of President’s Executive Office Ozoda Rahmon.  

Several higher educational institutions based in the northern province of Sughd province have confirmed that they received the letter from the ministry of education and science and stated that “they had made some their conditions.”

Thus, Deputy Rector of the Mining and Metallurgical Institute based in the city of Buston, Zimoniddin Zainiddin, has wrote on his Facebook page that for taking exams ahead of schedule students have to submit a letter from local executive body and a written consent to serve in the army.

Meanwhile, an official within the Sughd regional administration says they do not know anything about the letter from the education ministry, noting that the conscription campaign is ongoing in the area. 

Muzaffar Yunuszoda, a spokesman for the Sughd regional administration, told Asia-Plus in a short telephone conversation that the conscription campaign is ongoing in the province and there is still time to fulfill the conscription plan.  He also noted that military recruitment offices in the province are aware of the problem.   

Sughd chief prosecutor, Furqat Khojazoda, has sharply criticized local military recruitment offices for poor performance.

His criticism, directed at local military recruitment offices, came during an address to a meeting of the Coordination Council of the Law Enforcement Agencies that took place in Khujand on April 25.  The prosecutor, in particular noted that “only 1,282 young men have been drafted into the army by April 22, which is only 40.1 percent of the province’s conscription plan.   

The spring conscription campaign is carried out from April 1 through May, and the draft affects able-bodied male citizens in the age bracket of 18 years old to 27 years old who are not members of the armed forces reserve

The two-month-long effort seeking to enlist young men aged 18-27 for the one- or two-year compulsory military service takes place twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn.

According to the Ministry of Defense, every year, some 15,000-16,000 young Tajik men are drafted into the country’s armed forces.

Young Tajiks can avoid or postpone military service if they are ill, studying at university, an only son, or if they have two children.

Meanwhile, the authorities reportedly sometimes still use military recruitment raids to fulfill conscription campaign.

A ‘hunt’ for persons of draft age, more commonly known as ‘raid’, which is sometimes used to catch young people, is a violation of the law.  The Tajik authorities do not admit the use of raids, but ordinary citizens and analysts repeatedly expressed concern about the forced recruitment of young people, and other illegal methods used in recruiting campaigns.  

Tajikistan’s armed forces consist of Ground Forces, Mobile Forces (paratroopers of the armed forces of Tajikistan), Air Force and Air Defense Force.