The Interior Ministry of Tajikistan has denied Kyrgyz media reports about deportation of ethnic Kyrgyz living in Lakhsh district (Rasht Valley in eastern Tajikistan) as absolutely unfounded.  

“The facts given in reports released by Kyrgyz media outlets do not correspond to reality.   Indeed, there are ethnic Kyrgyz with dual citizenship living in Lakhsh.  That is normal.  There was no tightening of passport control and no one expelled ethnic Kyrgyz from Tajikistan,” Nusrat Mahmadzoda, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, was quoted as saying by Khovar news agency on May 5.  

Mahmadzoda called on Kyrgyz media not to escalate an already difficult situation and not to disseminate unverified information. 

It is to be noted that Tajikistan has an agreement on dual citizenship only with the Russian Federation.

Asia-Plus failed to receive comments from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country and local authorities of Lakhsh District on this subject. 

Meanwhile Kyrgyz media reports say Tajik authorities began deporting residents of Lakhsh having Kyrgyz passports. 

“They identify those who have Kyrgyz citizenship and take them to the district center, where authorities demand that they give up Kyrgyz passport and take Tajik citizenship.  Those who do not agree are being deported to Kyrgyzstan through Karamyk border crossing point (BCP).  They even don't have time to collect their things,” Kyrgyz news agency reported, citing a local resident.

According to him, 30,000 ethnic Kyrgyz, mostly young people, live in Lakhsh district.