DUSHANBE, October 27, Asia-Plus - Kazakh Ambassador to Tajikistan Yerlan Abildayev told a news conference in Dushanbe yesterday that at present some 40,000 ethnic Tajiks live in Kazakhstan.  

“Kazakhstan is a multi-national countries with a total population of 15 million,” said Abildayev, “130 nationalities and ethnic groups live in Kazakhstan; ethnic Kazakhs constitute 60 percent of the country’s population and ethnic Russians 30 percent.” 

According to him, ethnic Tajiks mainly live in the south of the country.  “At present 129 ethnic Tajiks from Kazakhstan study at Tajik higher educational institutions under quota provided by Tajikistan’s government,” said the ambassador, “On graduating the institutes, they will remain in Tajikistan or return to Kazakhstan.”  He also noted that musical groups of ethnic Tajiks from Kazakhstan will arrive in Tajikistan in the near future to perform concerts.     

Earlier, 11,000 ethnic Kazakhs had lived in Tajikistan but many of them left the country because of the civil conflict in the Nineties last century, according to Abildayev.  At present some 800 ethnic Kazakhs live in Tajikistan.