A Musharraf-Karimov Alliance?

by Laurence on 3/6/2005 · 3 comments

This BBC reports give a hint of a new Pakistani-Uzbek relationship, after years of tension:

In talks with the Uzbek president in the capital Tashkent, the Pakistani leader is expected to discuss efforts to hunt down Islamic fighters in Waziristan on the Pakistani border with Afghanistan.
They are thought to include Tashkent’s most wanted enemy, Tahir Yuldash, a young radical and ally of the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Throughout the 1990s, Uzbek-Pakistani relations soured. Islamabad and Tashkent backed opposing factions in Afghanistan. But now both have signed up to the US-led “war on terror”, and have given their support to the new government in Kabul.

Another important focus of the talks is trade. With peace restored in Afghanistan, both Pakistan and Uzbekistan are anxious to build trade routes across the country, giving Pakistan an entry to the markets of Central Asia, and landlocked Uzbekistan access to the ports of the Indian Ocean.

If this works, it might open Uzbekistan to trade with the world, independently of the former Soviet Union, and boost the economy significantly.

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Hulegu March 6, 2005 at 4:04 pm

Tahir Yuldash? isn’t he dead? oh no, that’s Jumaboy Khojayev aka Juma Namanganiy, But it does appear that Yuldash has been on the verge of ‘capture’death’ numerous times already without anytnhing coming to pass. I won’t be waiting with bated breath …

Curzon March 6, 2005 at 6:19 pm

That’s a pretty optmistic closing comment — Pakistan is on the verge of implosion as it is, what makes you think Afghanistan and Pakistan will stay stable enough in the long term to allow Uzbekistan to develop non-Soviet trade ties?

Laurence March 7, 2005 at 7:12 am

Curzon makes a good point. I don’t know if it will work, just that if it works, it might help Uzbekistan’s economy…

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