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Indian Air Base in Tajikistan

Ayni Air Base, Image Credit: Google Earth Ayni Air Base, Image Credit: Google Earth

India is trying to lease the Ayni Airbase outside of Dushanbe,Tajikistan. Though for the last one decade rumor has been circulating that India to get an air base in Tajikistan, but with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Tajikistan in July 2015 this rumor springs to life again.

According to Mail Today, the  Mail Today, the Indian edition of the U.K.’s Daily Mail – a tabloid newspaper-India wants to lease the air base as early as possible. If Indian can get this facilities then they will achieve a strategic victory which might sound alarm bell to China and Pakistan.

Mail Today reported Saturday that leasing the Ayni air base was going to top Modi’s agenda in Dushanbe. From there, the rumor spread through the hyperactive Indian press — and made an appearance in Tajikistan’s nascent press.

Tajikistan maintains a hospital facility in southern Tajikistan at Qurghonteppa which was opened in November 2014. It is mainly maintained by the Indians. Apart from this, during the late 1990s and early 2000s,India operated a military hospital at the Farkhor air base, near the Afghan border, providing care to Northern Alliance fighters. In 2002,India reportedly flew cargo out of Farkhor, with Russian permission, but there never was any evidence — aside from rumors — of an Indian air force presence. When NATO established the ISAF mission,India closed the hospital at Farkhor.

Beginning around 2003,India helped refurbish the Ayni base — extending the runway, building a control tower, and three new hangars. This year this air base has again come to the center point after PM Modi’s visit. And if,India at all gets air base facilities in Tajikistan then it will be a big step for their strategic interests.

[Compiled By Ananya Senjuti, Source: The Diplomat]