Violence the only way in Uzbekistan?

by CXW on 8/5/2005

Canada’s the Globe and Mail has a slightly ominous article entitled The people ‘cannot be patient any more’, which centres on an interview with Kabul Parpiyev, one of the leaders of the Andijan uprising in May:

Speaking to The Globe and Mail in his first interview with a North American media outlet since the massacre, the short, muscular 42-year-old described his regret about initiating the unrest and gave details to discredit the notion his rebels included foreign terrorists.

In the same conversation, however, Mr. Parpiyev promised revenge against the authoritarian regime and seemed to be threatening a campaign of terrorism.

“Our final option is this word ‘terror,’ which means sow fear among people,” Mr. Parpiyev said by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The former engineer at an Andijan water conservation facility was clearly troubled by the idea of launching violent attacks, although he said many disgruntled people in Uzbekistan have contacted his network of scattered dissidents in recent weeks and indicated they’re ready to resist.

“They cannot be patient any more,” he said. “If they can get a small push, if they are supported, they will all stand up to fight the regime.”

The article will no doubt add fuel to the debate over the Andijan massacre, not least because it highlights the “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” factor, as well as adding to concern that further violence one way or another is inevitable in the republic.

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