DUSHANBE, October 18, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- Appropriate divisions of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), are, first of all, to blame for increase in the number of Chinese merchants at domestic markets, Khudoberdi Kholiqnazarov, the head of the directorate for national strategies and socioeconomic programs within the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, said.

“Under the country’s legislation, the term of visas granted to Chinese nationals should not be more than a month and they must leave the country on expiry of the term of visa,” said Kholiqnazarov, “Chinese nationals get visas, except the tourist one, at the Tajik Embassy in Beijing only the basis of visa support from companies operating on the territory of Tajikistan.  The same rules exist for Tajik nationals wanting to visit China.”

Anyhow Chinese nationals manage to extend the visa term and even to get Tajik passports, the senior expert from Tajik think tank said.  “However, not only Chinese nationals are doing so, nationals of other countries, including Afghanistan, are also doing so,” said Kholiqnazarov, “This suggests that somebody is interested in rendering this service to them.  Only the law enforcement agencies may render such service to them.  Using corruption among our law enforcement agencies, foreigners organize their business in our country.”

According to him, the relevant bodies must be serious about these issues and fulfill their functions more honestly.

Sayfullo Safarov, the deputy director of the Center for Strategic Studies, considers that Tajik law enforcement agencies must more honestly and closely control observance of the country’s legislation by foreigners.  “At the same time, we must not be afraid of seeing Chinese nationals in our country,” said Safarov, “If we close, this will seriously impact our economic sector that will impede development of our country.”