Akunamatata

Мысли сказанные в некуда

Dreams which never came true …

This is a partly translation of the article which appeared on Centrasia website last year.

I am a mother and my eyes are burnt by tears because of thousands of kids of my country spread all over the world. I am a mother and I know how intolerably painful and hard can be parting. Just look around, where did the whole generation disappear – the generation which was looking at us from widespread “Kamolot” posters, students of “Umid” (“Hope” – K.) foundation smiling happily during a memorable filming within the precincts of Uzbek Embassy in Washington DC – inspired kids that believed in building of notorious “great future” of Uzbekistan. Where is that bright generation that we rest our hopes upon, why they are not near us? Remember how many of your acquaintances, students, nephews and nieces left and never came back. Like continuous flow our children left looking for better lot, because of inability to find their niche here and stand on their feet independently. Those who were less lucky went for slavery in Russia and Kazakhstan where being cheated, blackmailed and disgraced, they work hard gritting their teeth and send money back home where their parents, totally forgotten by the state, barely make ends meet. At sorrow moments they can just listen to the song “Ulugimsan Vatanim” (patriotic song – K.) by Sevara Nazarkhan and cry, since homeland is no longer waiting for them. I brokenly grab the phone and ask how is my sonny, begging him to take care of himself. He tries to appease me, but my heart is breaking. And there are lots of those voices over phone, can you hear that? What a buzz is there over country because of endless roll-call.

Look around, what is left? Who took those places which were supposed to be taken by our happy kids? Where are our Rostropovich’s, Eisenstein’s, Maria Curies, Mendeleyev’s? Wandering in foreign countries, trying to find a use for their knowledge and ambitions they manage it. Where are our young politicians with reformatory thinking, who could yet make improving of the situation possible? Why everything is given to dozen of stealthy ministers jumping from one position to another but unchangeably sparkling in political arena? Where are our children willing to work hard for the welfare of the country, but rejected by the state and remaining in fact lonely? What for did we brought them up, cherishing them? What for did we teach them to love their land and to be generous and honest? My son has grown to be a leader, to create youth movements, to sky-rocket like a bird conquering new peaks. But where is the place for smart young men in our country, where they most likely to be trampled down and crucified …

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Август 5, 2007 Posted by | Akuna - English, Государство, Общество | 2 комментария

What do Uzbek women think about sex?

This is a translation of the article which appeared on Centrasia website. Some parts are omitted.

So, imagine there is a charming young lady, physiologically ready for “exploits”. But what is inside her youthful mind? There is basically following: “No sex before marriage, because it is not permitted” – it means that she is morally confident that it is bad, thus not needed. “No sex before marriage, because no one will marry me” – that is orient social directive on pre-marriage virginity. Moreover, “No sex before marriage, what if I get pregnant?” – in other words – no idea about contraception, although she knows about abortion, but it is scaring, so the hell with damn sex.

Let’s suppose that the lady somehow followed the path of sin and vice and “lost” her virginity. If she had intimacy with the one who will marry her (either because of true love or because of threats), then at the first wedding night (in fact second) fiancé would cut, most probably, his finger to get some blood mixed with saliva and spread that on bed-sheet presented to all next day. If she took the same path but ended up alone she still has to get married and she needs to be “innocent”. In that case there is a place called TashMI 2 (Tashkent Medical Institute — Kamron) where they got used to make “sewing” as well as abortions. That means non-virgin lady is brought back to a previous stage.

There is certainly more problematic option, when the path ends with two lines on pregnancy test. Then she either has abortion secretly, followed by getting married being not virgin, or she keeps a child and forces him to marry blackmailing him. Another option is to remain alone with a baby and without any chances to get married.

Most probably she has a little idea about contraception. As for our men – they just don’t like it and say the same excuse like everywhere. Taking into account that man’s word is a rule for orient woman, you can hardly find anyone arguing with that. As a result women get a whole bunch of illnesses. As in other parts of the world our local men bring lots of muck to their women. My cousin having done the same justified himself saying that when he was in business trip he had stale bed-sheets in a hotel, may be that is why his wife got syphilis. He told me that in her presence, my jaws were about falling on the table, while his wife took that bull shit on trust. Later, of course, I told him everything I think about him and about power of his imagination, advising him to be more creative next time. But the fact is that 90% of Uzbek women believe in such fairy tales. So one can make conclusions about our ignorance in that field.

Moreover we still have that psychological phenomenon about “no sex before marriage” because it is simply not allowed. On the other hand TashMI 2 is actively operating along with that phenomenon … so these mutually exclusive things somehow get along in our country.

Finally, as a result of that kind of “no sex before marriage”, in Tashkent men can survive picking up a prostitute or finding European girl with a normal thinking or persuading open-minded Uzbek girl or … but in province where there are no Europeans and very few prostitutes one can find flourishing pederasty and zoophilia – sheep and donkeys are always available.

Август 2, 2007 Posted by | Akuna - English, Культура, Общество | 6 комментариев

Discussion: Is Islam religion of Peace?

Some weeks ago I send a group message addressed to friends and colleagues of mine containing web links to a slide-show posted on Jerusalem Online.

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/terror1.asp

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/terror2.asp

I have got an immediate response from a coursemate:

Hey,
My feeling in response to this propaganda presentation is that it is entirely counterproductive, unnecessarily provocative, divisive, and littered with offensive, inappropriate references taken out of context. At a time when, I believe, all of us should be building cultural and religious bridges (not erecting more of them), this chunk of creepy video should be lightly tossed in the nearest trash bin. That’s just my opinion.
What do you think?
J.

Another response from a friend of mine gave a start to a relatively long lasting debate on that topic. It was not originally intended to be posted online and style and language might not be good enough as well as some facts and dates could be provided wrongly, but I thought it would be good idea to get it publicly discussed. Here it is:

*******
Hi,

The subject of your email is not well placed. (The subject of my e-mail was – A fake face of Islam. Kamron) There was nothing there that attacks Islam as a religion.

As I was reading through the site you sent below, I realized there wasn’t anything contemptuous or wrong about it. What were featured were actually facts highlighted with dramatic music background. That’s all.

I admit that i am an admirer of David Horowitz because of his support for the homosexual agenda, but it does not cloud my thoughts. My take on the site is simple: it speaks of the truth that there are Muslims out there who have taken the jihad theology and ideology way far off. Similarly, there are Christians and Hindis and other members of various religious groups who have gone astray — who have taken and interpreted religious beliefs out of context.

I say this again, your subject matter is not correct. Violent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. How can you say that «terrorism» (please excuse me for a lack of better word that best describes the emotional effect of the acts done in the guise of religious doctrine) is not a face of Islam when the holy war, jihad, is considered a religious duty to a Muslim?

I quote:

» Sahih Bukhari, which Muslims regard as the most trustworthy of all the many collections of traditions of Muhammad, records this statement of the Prophet: «Allah assigns for a person who participates in (holy battles) in Allah’s Cause and nothing causes him to do so except belief in Allah and in His Messengers, that he will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr).»

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was also a legal theorist. In his renowned Muqaddimah, the first work of historical theory, he notes that «in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.» In Islam, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with «power politics,» because Islam is «under obligation to gain power over other nations »

However, i am sure that great Prophet also preached about love and respect of others. Something that is more important in the greater scheme of things — something that should have been highlighted most in the teachings of Islam and in that of all other religions instead. I read somewhere that Islam also spread across the Sahara, and the Indian Ocean, via trades on camels and ships. A proof that Islam may be spread without shedding a drop of blood.

The reality remains that everything quoted in that site happened. Nothing was fabricated or unfounded (may be exaggerated). The sad fact remains that unless we acknowledge co-existence, we will never be at peace.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of Muslim friends and that includes you. My relationship with them is rooted with a deep sense of respect and friendship. What I am saying here is that bad guys exist regardless of religion, color or race. We have the facts. We both know them.

My prayer remains that Muslims will develop a vision of jihad that is consistent with modernity and international human rights law. Otherwise, jihad as practice and as a religious or political tool should be curbed by all means.

/R

*******

Hi,

Thanks a lot for your opinion. Regardless the fact I do not agree with some of its parts, I do appreciate it.
You know in order to get a real notion of Jihad and everything related to it you have to be aware of not only theological side of its history but also socio-political aspects of the Phenomenon, since as you noticed Jihad is a political tool, and nowadays it is more political tool than anything else. Unfortunately some people use that controversial theory in order to gain power and money and fame, using as excuse spreading a word of Islam. Whereas the others do the same with an excuse of spreading «freedom» and democratic values — you know whom I mean.

You may have noticed, only (or mainly) Middle East and Afghanistan is the place where we hear a lot of things about Jihad. And again you have to look deeper at history in order to understand the specificity of that region. Peoples of Middle East have suffered a lot from Western world. Western countries have been exploiting local people and enjoying their natural resources for decades and even centuries. As long as Islam is strongly incorporated in political and social systems of those countries it is not surprising why exactly Jihad (and I am confident it is wrong) is selected as a tool of liberty.

Anyways, one should keep in mind that there are over billion of Muslims all over the world. All those people including me practice that religion with out any harm to the rest. Thus, that is a real face of Islam, regardless what they say, regardless what history says (you know there are always dark spots in it) that is a real face of Islam. Moreover, choosing a subject to my letter I did not mean to deny facts you have pointed out, but I meant to question any inadequate impression which might appear after watching of that propaganda material.

«How can you say that «terrorism» is not a face of Islam when the holy war, jihad, is considered a religious duty to a muslim?» —

That is an unfortunate indication that a lot of bright and intelligent people like you are misled by facts and figures and a goal of those dark minded people is in part achieved.

Anyways, thanks a lot for that interesting discussion.
Best regards

*******

Hi,

In response to your concern about some of us who may have misconceptions about Islam, i would like to share with you this movie (which a good Muslim friend has shared to me in my website).

After you have watched this movie, tell me if any of our notions towards Islam is unfounded and subjective?

Tell me which is the lesser evil: the educated who believes in the existence of radical Islam or the ignorant who believes in radical Islam?

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2D7_DPhDBo&mode=related&search =
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij5jfmEhUHk&mode=related&search =
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCA8ldF0KzU&mode=related&search =
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hFywMAn5k4&NR=1

After watching the movie I have had questions, some of which i will dare to ask you . . . . .

You say there millions of Muslims like you who practice Islam without doing any harm to others. Why don’t i see these millions condemning or making noise about the evil acts of the «few» radical Muslims? Is it fear or tolerance?

Why do the moderate Muslim allow Muslim kids in the East to be reared with hatred towards non-Muslims? I am angered by the fact that kids are being taught in schools about the propaganda of hate. The indoctrination of the youth to a culture of hate is disturbing and i cannot stop myself from getting angry while watching these kids profess their intentions to be suicide warriors! Again, what are the rest of the Muslims doing about this? If Muslims really want the world to know Islam as a religion of peace, start by teaching the kids to play and enjoy their youth and the world.

I have faith in the vast majority of good Muslims, I just wish that they will not allow the minority radical Muslims to prevail and will start breaking their silence and take bigger steps to cure the growing cancer in the same body they share — Islam.

/R

*******

Hi,

First of all let me thank you for those links, I did really like that documentary.

Second of all, I am happy we are moving up to the next (more complicated) stage of the discussion, although I must admit you not really ready to do it, since it requires some historical, political, cultural and theological insight to that topic.

But let me try to answer your questions and I’ll start with the last one which I consider the most important.

What are the rest of the muslims doing about this?

Nothing, almost nothing. In order to answer your question I tried to find evidences of condemnation of Radical Islam (I would use that term instead of Islamic Terrorism) by Muslim World. Although I found several ones, I do believe that it is not enough, since those low voices are not heard by radicals and even if heard not taken into account. I was expecting that at some point you will come up with that question.

Tell me which the lesser evil is: the educated who believes in the existence of radical Islam or the ignorant who believes in radical Islam?

Most probably I did not get your point correctly, but anyways I don’t find educated person admitting the existence of radical Islam as evil, regardless to its extent. Radical Islam does exist! It is evil! But it does not give a right to anyone to generalize and make the rest Muslim world responsible for that.

Why do the moderate Muslims allow Muslim kids in the East to be reared with hatred towards non-Muslims?

The question should sound like «Why does moderate (which is arguable) Muslim in the East allow kids to be reared with hatred ….. »
A Muslim who allows his child to learn that awful stuff is either absolutely ignorant or not moderate Muslim at all. Thanks to Allah I was not taught to hate other religious, nor my counterparts. So, that is again matter of region (Middle East) which I pointed out at the very beginning. It is very pity that children are being a tool in hands of ignorant and uncivilized people.

The comparison provided in that documentary regarding Hitler Youth and schools in particular countries of Middle East (not all) are also very reasonable. Recalling Nazi regime I would point out that Humanity always creates an evil and then suffers and struggles against it, when it is too late to start struggle and too many lives have gone. You must know that during the first decade of Hitler’s regime The Third Reich was supported by «civilized» nations as a counter balance to Communist threat which was considered to be the biggest evil. Even Czechs were sacrificed by for the sake of what Chamberlain called Peace and only after half of Europe was occupied Major Powers have realized the sad reality.

After Second World War United Nations deiced to create a State of Israel in the territory of a former British colony a part of which is now called Palestinian Occupied Territory — the place inhabited by Arabs for centuries. I am not anti-Semitic but that was a big mistake, at least that should have been carried out in a more well thought-out and cautious way. Unfortunately the humanity got a long lasting (seems like never ending) Arab-Israeli conflict.

In early 1980’s when Soviet Union illegally intervened in Afghan territory (doing the same mistake as US did in Vietnam) the United States were implicitly supporting (mainly through Pakistan) Majaheds providing them with arms. In 1990’s those people called themselves Taliban!!! In 2001 US were fighting against them. Today they are still powerful and controlling a considerable part of Afghanistan.

In late 1990’s Tajikistan has suffered a civil war because of radicals while Uzbekistan and Russia suffered from Terrorist attacks. Chechen terrorists attacking civilians in Russia from 1997 to 2000 were called by western «civilized» nations as rebels fighting for freedom of Chechnya. After series of terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan in 1999 our President coming to Istanbul summit addressed world leaders urging them to fight terrorism, especially UK to eliminate headquarters (!!!) of Hizbut-Takhrir in London. But other’s problems could hardly touch them …

NYC 2001 9/11, … London 2005 , … Madrid — now Islamic Terrorism is problem number 1 globally. But unfortunately Radical Islam is much stronger now than it used to be.

You have to understand that I am not trying to justify, but rather to understand WHY it happened?
It is always difficult to answer the «WHY» question. One must be able to analyze maintain as much objectivity as possible.

And here we are back to your questions —

After you have watched this movie, tell me if any of our notions towards Islam is unfounded and subjective?

That is the main problem, even in that documentary and in many sources «experts» instead of being specific and say Arabs, Radicals, Palestinians, they say just Muslims, they say just Islam. I understand that people watching the same documentary get its plot differently, but I just refer to the same source (I believe part 2) which urges watchers to avoid stereotypes and generalizations.

One of the worst things both Radicals and some non-Muslims do is quoting Quran which arguably calls Muslims to kill. You will find the answer to that problem as well, and then I hope you will understand that while dealing with Muslim, attempts to point out and interpret different suras from Qur’an and argue that his/her religion is not religion of Peace and it is a priori source of terrorism, all of that just create a frustration and sometimes aggression leading to different types of conflicts or at least tension.

If Muslims really want the world to know Islam as a religion of peace, start by teaching the kids to play and enjoy their youth and the world.

This another generalization, probably directed not to me and not to all Muslims, but if yes, it would be very politically incorrect and absolutely unacceptable.

My best regards,

P.S. If you have spare time please look at links below which not only support but also argue my position.

Islam and terrorism
http://islam.about.com/od/terrorism/f/terrorism.htm
http://islam.about.com/od/terrorism/f/terrorism_verse.htm

Is Islam a religion of Peace
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/AboutSite.htm

Islam and antisemitism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_antisemitism

Are Christians and Jews believers according to Qur’an?
http://friendfinder.com/intgroups/gi179/qi87476/acview_thread_message.html

*******

Hi,

I agree that my knowledge on Islam history, its battle-cries, and what not, are limited. However, I take offense from the insinuation that my ineptitude on the subject matter earns me no merit to get angry to what you also agree to be evil and appalling! I am furious to be compared to those who are condemned in the documentary. If it is wrong to get angry because Muslim kids are maltreated, used, tricked and robbed of their youth, then I REFUSE TO BE RIGHT.

«If Muslims really want the world to know Islam as a religion of peace, start by teaching the kids to play and enjoy their youth and the world. —
This is another generalization, probably directed not to me and not to all Muslims, but if yes, it would be very politically incorrect and absolutely unacceptable»

The question is intended for all Muslims and is NOT politically incorrect because it was stated in the context of the fact that Muslim Kids in East are deceived and misled. It is NOT an attack to Islam as a religion NOR an offensive remark against Muslims. It is NEVER politically incorect to suggest others to do the right thing — as it is the absolute and obvious. It was NEVER my intention to insult you or Muslims in general.

How much knowledge does one need to distinguish good from bad? How much awareness of the past does one need to be able to have the right to say that taking the lives of others for whatever reason is barbaric? How much understanding of the culture must one attain to earn the voice to question, if not condemn, the indifference of people who say that terrorism is wrong and definitely not Islamic, yet are silent, if not hesitant to speak out?

But then again, my questions are not sound because I have yet to understand the history and the roots of the problem despite the common knowledge that thousands of lives have already been lost.

The question i asked: «Why do moderate Muslims allow Muslim kids in the East to be reared with hatred towards non-Muslims?» is meant EXACTLY that way. My intention is to address ALL Muslims not just those in the East. I believe it is the responsibility of everyone BUT PRIMARILY of ALL Muslims to address such wrong doing inflicted on Muslim kids.

I find it ridiculous how you conveniently «regionalize» the problem. It is as if you have a pile of shit in your living room and you say your house is not a mess because there are other rooms in the house where others can dwell without smelling the deadly stench.

In one of the links you shared it says that where Muslims are majority, there is a systematic discrimination and oppression of those who practice other faiths — and where Muslims are minority, there is rebellion, terror and disloyalty. But then again, you might say that I must understand history.

You say:

«You have to understand that I am not trying to justify, but rather to understand WHY it happened? It is always difficult to answer the «WHY» question. One must be able to analyze maintain as much objectivity as possible.»

From that same link i quote:

«We cannot continue to think that the solution to the violence is greater understanding and tolerance for Islam, as Muslim apologists often imply when offering rare commentary on high-profile terror attacks. It is the killers and their supporters who need lessons in tolerance and understanding, not their victims.»

Other than the fact that there seem to be no substantial steps taken by the moderate Muslim to address these issues, You missed out one question that i asked: Why don’t i see the millions of moderate Muslims condemning or making noise about the evil acts of the «few» radical Muslims? Is it fear or tolerance? The reason why I asked this is because — in the news you see Muslims in the UK and US rally on streets for equal rights and opportunity and other petty issues. However, I have never seen them publicly denounce the terrorist acts of the radical Muslims. Is fear to be branded heretic or traitor to Islam? or Is it indifference?

«Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.» — Malcolm X

If the above quotation were true, I wish we all get angry and bring about change! But then again, history should tell us.

With my limited knowledge, i have contemplated that unless we see Muslims rise above their own biases and speak out to condemn the criminal acts of their brothers who have gone astrayed, unless we see them combating and eradicating the misinterpretation of their religion, the conflict will remain and sadly will worsen. But then again, what do i know?

«This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anyone could have.» Unknown Author

These four people need not study history to get the job done. They should have simply done the obvious. To put things candidly, even shoes know the answer — NIKE’s tag line: JUST DO IT!

Peace,

/R

*******

Hi,
Too pity you have ignored my argument on Western Worlds implicit support of terrorism before 9/11 (Chechen Islamic Radicals invited to US Congress and State Department for «talks», Hizbut-Takhrir office functioning openly in UK for many years while that organization was exploding people in Central Asia killing Mulsims), on the other hand making Muslims around the World responsible and even guilty for non-adequate reaction.

You know, I am the person who treats people regardless their nationality, religion, sexual orientation and political views. And I would use the same approach in discussing that problems. We all HUMAN BEINGS are touched by any act against HUMANITY — Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and etc.

I believe it is the responsibility of everyone BUT PRIMARILY of ALL Muslims to address such wrong doing inflicted on Muslim kids.

WHY??? Why primarily Muslims all of over the world should be responsible ??? Because we share common religion with those bastards? We share common thoughts with any radical when we both say «Allahu Akbar», BUT there is nothing in common between us when he thinks that he must kill people because Qur’an says so. (I hope you know now what Qur’an says about that if you looked at all links, not only those quoted). So, if I don’t share that believe with Ahmed from Palestine, why do I have to be responsible more than Fernando from Philippines? Why do I have to do more then he does?

You know I am equally concerned about those kids in Middle East and kids in the US killing each other in high schools continuously. I am equally concerned about terrorist acts committed by radical Muslims in London and Madrid and the same destructive acts committed in UK and Spain by Irish Republican Army and Basks Organizations. Because I consider Arab and American kids equally innocent, I consider crimes done by Irish and Basks and Arabs equally terrible.

*******

Hi,

This is not about you as a person or your personal convictions. Keep that in mind as we discuss.

You asked WHY Muslims should be primarily responsible? The answer is simple: because Muslims are in better position to explain to their fellow Muslims what Islam faith is all about. No one else! Certainly, a is in no position to tell you or any other Muslim to do more. But what should an ordinary man who has limited understanding of the faith of Islam do but to encourage Muslims to take bolder steps and work hand-in-hand with other faithful to abolish this crime against humanity? Is it wrong for anyone to suggest that?

I did not ignore your argument on the «implicit» support of US and UK to terrorism. I didn’t dwell on that topic because, again, you are trying to shift the blame to others instead of focusing on what Muslims could have done given their strong belief about how the US and UK governments infuse money and arms to support these radical groups? Instead, I wanted you to realize that what most Muslims want us to do is to understand the bigger picture and stop blaming them solely for the crimes; that there are other parties involve who are equally to be blamed; that there are historical viewpoints and political agenda to consider. And then what? What will Muslims do?

For the third time I will be asking this question in the hope of getting a proper response from you:

«Other than the fact that there seem to be no substantial steps taken by the moderate Muslim to address these issues, You missed out one question that i asked: Why don’t i see the millions of moderate Muslims condemning or making noise about the evil acts of the «few» radical Muslims? Is it fear or tolerance? The reason why i asked this is because — in the news you see Muslims in the UK and US rally on streets for equal rights and opportunity and other petty issues. However, i have never seen them publicly denounce the terrorist acts of the radical Muslims. Is fear to be branded heretic or traitor to Islam? or Is it indifference? »
__________________________________________________________________________________________

I must confess I do not know the answer to that question. May be some of you will be willing to share you thoughts on that topic ….

Июль 15, 2007 Posted by | Akuna - English, Общество | 64 комментария

What is the PLAN?

As Ben has reported recently January 9 was the last day of Islam Karimov’s term as the president of Uzbekistan — at least according to the Uzbek constitution. And Constitution clearly states that “The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall be elected for a term of seven years”. According to the Constitution and the date of last Presidential elections, taking into account the term was extended for two more years, the next presidential election date must be January 9 2007, which already is a part of history. The reason for that is the Uzbek parliament, which decided in 2002 that presidential elections are only to be held “in the year of the expiry of constitutional term of his power — on the first Sunday of the third ten-day period of December” (Constitution, article 117), which makes presidential term 7 years and 11 months.
So, no doubt that current year is going to be decisive period of Uzbekistan’s history, even if the country meets the next New Year’s Eve with the same president. So many possible scenarios are being discussed by different analysts that it is really difficult to predict which of them is the most possible one.

Uznews.net referring to a reliable source in the Uzbek government reports that Uzbekistan will hold a referendum on strengthening the role of political parties in April 2007.

This will be carried out in the following sequence:
First, the Oliy Majlis, the Uzbek parliament, will propose constitutional laws relating to parties for discussion.
Later, on the basis of the referendum results amendments will be introduced to the Uzbek constitution. The matter, most likely, is in a number of chapters of the constitutions, including, of course, Chapter XII “Public Associations”, Chapter XXI “Basics of State Power” and others.

Uznews.net also predicts that approximately in September 2007 one of the political parties (presumably, the Liberal Democratic Party) will put forward Karimov’s candidacy for the post of president. In that case, it is possible that a new party will be introduced short before elections, as it was with “Fidokorlar” and Liberal Democratic Party.

The most important that referendum can be a good possibility to amend article 90 of the Constitution, particularly the provision about limit of two consecutive terms. Since it is rather easy to pass any new law in the parliament and even approve it in referendum, an amendment to the Constitution is not a big issue for Uzbek elite.

Of course, all of the discussed above is a guess-work, but it is in a way being confirmed by authorities. Ferghana.Ru news agency reports that census is under way in Uzbekistan. It began in early January as an element of preparations for the forthcoming presidential election. Local self-government bodies helped by school teachers were put in charge of the census campaign. Who knows may be the results of population census come in handy when referendum is initiated by the parliament.

Январь 14, 2007 Posted by | Akuna - English, Государство, Политика, Право | Оставьте комментарий

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Having evicted U.S. troops last year, Uzbekistan is going to have a substitute. Russia has secured permission for its military aircraft to use an air base in Uzbekistan, as part of Moscow’s efforts to extend its presence in Central Asia. The first step in achieving that goal was making Uzbekistan rejoin Collective Security Agreement Organization. Uzbek government has not rushed to make that important decision, but pressure from Moscow finally made them give up.

Lt. Gen. Aitech Bizhev, a deputy chief of the Russian air force, as saying that the two nations agreed last month that Russian military aircraft could use the Navoi air base in central Uzbekistan in emergencies. In exchange, Russia will equip the air base in the ex-Soviet nation with modern navigation systems and air defense weapons, reports The Associated Press.

While falling short of a permanent military presence, the deal offers Russia an opportunity to quickly deploy its forces to the region.

It is obvious that Uzbekistan is not pleased by having permanent Russian military base. May be that is why military man Bizhev is using a diplomatic approach while discussing the issue of Russian aircrafts in Uzbekistan, saying that the airfield in question was only to be used in emergencies.

Interesting that the news was reported on the day when all newspapers were discussing the sudden death of Turkmen President. Demise of the Central Asian dictator predictably pushed the issue of regional security into the foreground.

Ferghana.Ru news agency approached Colonel (in retirement) Vladimir Mukhin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta military observer and analyst, for comments.

That the news was broken today is probably a coincidence, but that the news is important is beyond doubt. From the standpoint of understanding the situation in the region itself, that is. The CIS United Antiaircraft Defense System is finally expanding into Uzbekistan. That’s great. It was on the territory of Uzbekistan that vital command posts of the antiaircraft defense were once located. It is reasonable for Russia to be trying to form or rather reinstitute these structures in Uzbekistan now. It is reanimation — to some extent of course — of what existed in the Soviet Union.

Besides, Mukhin points out that Moscow’s interests in Uzbekistan extend to uranium production and enrichment. It is the Navoi Mining and Smelting that is doing it. Needless to say, Russia and Uzbekistan would want this object protected from air attacks — or from international terrorism for that matter. “We all know after all that even the Talibs had their own aircraft and combat pilots”, — speculated Mukhin.

Personally I doubt that Talibs are likely to use their “aircrafts” against Uzbekistan, at least for the time being. It seems like Talibs and “potentially dangerous” situation in Afghanistan became general excuse for deploying troops in Central Asia, particularly in Uzbekistan. But who knows, what will happen when Uzbek foreign policy changes once again. Probably Tashkent will consider Afghanistan as the safest place in the world, like it was with withdrawal of American troops some years ago.

Декабрь 29, 2006 Posted by | Akuna - English, Безопасность, Международные отношения, Политика | 4 комментария

Just another illusion for grateful audience.

Having experienced fifteen years of independence, plenty of reforms on democratization and rule of law, Uzbekistan has never had any single day of real parliamentarism. Oliy Majlis is like a theater where deputy-actors play their important roles in the development of the state. Platforms of political parties are almost identical. Being not known to the most of population these political parties always proclaim that they fully support all bright ideas of the President.

Just another bright idea has come into leaders mind recently. Draft laws «On the role of political parties in renovation and democratization of state management and modernization of the country» and «On amendment of some articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan» were submitted to the lower house of the Oliy Majlis.

Publication of the documents contemporized with the meeting of the EU-Uzbekistan Cooperation Council in Brussels. Together with the other urgent undertakings the bill is supposed to convince the EU that Uzbekistan is ready for dialog and sanctions imposed a year ago, are no longer necessary.

The bill permits establishment of factions in the national parliament, and factions themselves are permitted to be in the opposition to the authorities. Prime ministers are to be nominated by the president and endorsed by the parliament. Whenever the parliament votes the candidate down, the president is empowered to repeat the nomination twice more. The president is permitted to disband the parliament after the third rejection and appoint acting prime minister.

Outwardly offering political parties additional freedom, the president retains the right to nominate the heads of regional and municipal administrations for endorsement by regional and municipal councils of people’s deputies.

A closer look at the draft law shows in the meantime that introduction of the term «opposition» in officialese is the only innovation it suggests. There has been no opposition in Uzbekistan until now — discounting the episode in December 2004, right after the parliamentary election, when National Democratic Party proclaimed itself the opposition to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, still laying emphasis on their loyalty the President.

«Factions of political parties and deputies nominated by initiative groups that do not accept the policy and program of the new government or their elements may proclaim themselves the opposition.»

The bill proceeds to outline the rights of the opposition that actually boil down to the ability to suggest alternative draft laws, put a «separate opinion» on protocols of plenary meetings, and participate in conciliatory commissions.

The proposed changes reportedly say the president should consult with parliamentary groups before nominating a candidate for the post of prime minister. But they would also allow the President to dismiss the parliament in case lawmakers refused to appoint his nominee after three votes. Personally, I can hardly imagine that fantastic situation, when toy deputies dare to press the “against” button.
The consultation on the prime minister’s position and the Tashkent municipal and regional hokims is not likely to change the status quo too much, but it looks nice on paper. These positions will actually continue to be appointed by the president without any consultation from anyone.

Registan.NET discussing possible reasons of introducing the bill says:

First is that Karimov can pull it off now without resistance. He and the clan he has built are far more powerful than they were a decade ago. He faces far less competition.

Second is that it looks good at a very key time. This will almost certainly pass, and Western observers will probably hail this as a concrete step towards liberalization.

Third, and this is just speculation, is that perhaps Karimov is feeling the need to prepare the ground for his successor.

UzMetronom says that this is about wooing Europe ahead of the EU’s decision on sanctions. While these moves were welcomed by the EU, analysts say they are unlikely to bring democracy any time soon to the tightly-controlled former Soviet republic.

Since amendment to the constitution could be a good reason for referendum, there is a certain possibility of including one extra question to the ballot paper, regarding limitation of Presidency to the two consecutive terms. That could be an irrefragable answer to the many of analysts, repeatedly asking – “Why?”

Ноябрь 25, 2006 Posted by | Akuna - English, Международные отношения, Политика, Право | Оставьте комментарий

Maneuvering from democracy to energy resources.

Last week in Russian language blog I reported that the EU sent a delegation lead by Finnish diplomat Anti Turunen to Tashkent in order to investigate to which extent Uzbekistan is ready for dialogue. It seems like the result of that visit was positive and Uzbek side is willing to diversify the circle of its “friends” and leave in fact very limited isolation. Thus a new, more serious delegation was sent to Tashkent in order to begin long-awaited dialog. Recently appointed EU special representative in Central Asia Pier Morel and another EU delegation visited Uzbekistan last week. Morel met with Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov in Tashkent.

The reason for so frequent visits is obvious – energy resources. That fact actually doesn’t credit EU states. Once again, those who talk about democracy and human rights more than others, in fact, care about them less than people looking forward to take a swallow of freedom. On the other hand I can understand European politicians. They represent people who care more about heat and light in their houses (which is natural) than the level of democracy in Uzbekistan or Nigeria. Thus, I would absolutely justify that surprising maneuver if it were the only reason. Geopolitical interests are still ruling the world, and still remaining as the most harmful phenomenon for some nations. Uzbekistan has an excellent geopolitical location and different types of strategic resources, which is in a way punishment for the nation. The reason is expressed but at the same time underestimated by Andrei Grozin forms the institute CIS countries:

All of that taken into consideration, the sarcasm that oil and gas prove more important than democracy is hardly appropriate in this particular case

On the other hand, Registan.net quoted recently one of Uzbek opposition activists, who said: “Gullible Europeans” do not understand Uzbekistan and foolishly think that dialogue will encourage reforms.

Both Yakubov and the author of the article make the point, which I agree with, that Karimov is not a reliable partner, and that any deal for gas with Uzbekistan cannot be depended on to supply Europe for too long.

Every visit of EU delegation was shrouded in a veil of secrecy. It was not surprising that Uzbek media outlets made no mention of them at all, because Tashkent does not want to make its plans known to Moscow. But the fact that Europeans are also (almost) keeping silence, means that they are ready to do everything Tashkent demands in order to contribute to democratization process in the country, which for the moment is done by means of friendship in exchange for energy resources.

Ноябрь 9, 2006 Posted by | Akuna - English, Международные отношения, Общество, Политика | 51 комментарий