DUSHANBE, October 7, 2011, Asia-Plus -- By October 7, Tajikistan has reached 26 percent of the autumn conscription target, Faridoun Mahmadaliyev, a chief spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), told Asia-Plus today.

In the territorial cross section the percentage the target reached were: Gorno Badakhshan – 43.0 percent; Sughd – 31.0 percent; Khatlon – 25.0 percent; districts subordinate to the center (RRPs) – 22.0 percent; and Dushanbe – 11.0.

In the meantime, the Shahriston district in Sughd province has already fulfilled its conscription target, the spokesman said.

The Tajik armed forces began their autumn conscription campaign on October 1.  According to the Ministry of Defense, every year, some 15,000-16,000 young Tajik men are drafted into the country’s armed forces.  The two-month-long effort seeking to enlist young men aged 18-27 for the two-year compulsory military service takes place twice a year, in the spring and fall.

Some sources say more than 600,000 young men in Tajikistan are eligible for military service, but some 150,000 of them have received draft deferments or are exempted from the military service and some 100,000 other conscript-age young Tajiks are outside the country in search of a living.

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

We will recall that President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree on drafting young Tajiks into the country’s armed forces from October through November 2011 on September 14.

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 same decree provides for the retirement from active duty of soldiers and sergeants whose service under conscription is over.