Afghanistan Hits Back at Russia

by Nathan Hamm on 6/12/2005

Afghanistan’s government is none too happy with Russia’s accusation that the uprising in Andijan was planned by militants in Afghanistan.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the Russian assertion is “baseless” and represents a conspiracy.

“The Defense Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan says this irresponsible statement, which also has been made in the past by India, marks the start of a Russian conspiracy involving adventuristic moves [by Moscow] in Central Asia and Southeastern Asia,” he said.

Well, “conspiracy” is probably a bit much. Karimov believes his country is under information attack and Russia’s willingness to validate Uzbekistan’s official version certainly does put it in Karimov’s good graces.

It would certainly be easier to take Russia at face value if it was ever the slightest bit forthcoming with information to bolster its case in these situations. It’s not that what Russia claims is unbelievable. But for the time being anyway it strikes me as much more plausible that if Islamic militants were involved in planning the protests and assault on the prison (of which I’m not even entirely convinced–heck, I’m not even convinced that the attack was planned), they did so from in or near Andijon and not Afghanistan.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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