Tashkent’s Complaint

by Nathan Hamm on 10/16/2005 · 4 comments

[Editor’s note: I had meant to publish this earlier in the week, but it entirely slipped my mind. It’s still worth a read though]

Uzbekistan To Issue Complaint Against US
October 7, 2005 Rambler, National News Agency
[David Walther: Translator’s note: I have not seen other sources yet for any of the claims or allegations or even points of fact found in this article, I’m throwing it up as something to chew on…]

Mass media organs in Uzbekistan, Iran, and China report that in talks between President Islam Karimov and US Undersecretary of State Daniel Fried on 28 September, the two discussed the possibility of taking a US refusal to pay in full for the presence of their armed forces before an international arbiter. Official Uzbekistani sources do not deny this statement.

The complaint will be heard by the International Court of the UN and the Islamic Confederacy, in which Uzbekistan has membership. On 5 October the US Senate resolved not to pay Tashkent some 23 million dollars for rent on a US Air Force base in the Uzbek city of Khanabad. The EU almost simultaneously resolved to break off all partnership and cooperation with Uzbekistan after their refusal to allow an international inquiry into the events in Andijon.

Islam Karimov and other official figures in Uzbekistan allege that NATO cannot accept
their “defeat” in having to evacuate the “NATO” base and intelligence gathering facilities (разведобъектов, literally, “spy apparatus”) from Uzbekistan.

The US and EU blame Uzbekistan for antidemocratic and repressive actions [against its people], but as President Islam Karimov notes, while Uzbekistan accommodated NATO’s “antiterrorist” troops, allegations like this one directed at Tashkent were notably absent.

The recent Russo-Uzbek joint military exercises and the transit agreement transporting Uzbek natural gas to and through Russia only serve to intensify the confrontation between the West and the leadership of Uzbekistan. Central Asian news agencies suggest that US Secretary of State Rice and her colleagues are paying special attention to “human rights” in Central Asia of late not without ulterior motive: it can be suggested that firstly, the US will [use “human rights propaganda to] push Kazakhstan (where Secretary Rice will soon visit) towards an Anti-Uzbek position (literally, will impose anti-Uzbekistani politics on Kazakhstan) because more than half of Uzbek export goods are transported across Kazakhstan; and secondly, it can be suggested that the organization of antigovernment excesses is not only possible in the Fergana Valley, where Islamic Radicals are active, but also among Karakalpaks, living in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan. [I know this paragraph does not make a lot of sense logically, but this is what was written in the article].

Several Karakalpak groups frequently demand full independence from Tashkent for their region—but all gas and oil production from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan cross through Karakalpakistan, and the bulk of the oil and gas resources of Uzbekistan are concentrated in this autonomous region. Therefore, destabilization of the region presents many possibilities for disrupting transport of Central Asian natural gas to Russia and the CIS.
Exacerbation of the situation in either the Fergana Valley or in the Aral Sea region, according to expert forecasts, could very possibly trigger a “NATO landing [or invasion]” like was seen in Somalia or Afghanistan.

[The original article can be found at http://www.rambler.ru/db/news/msg.html?mid=6677197&s=2
any annotations or corrections are welcome].


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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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{ 4 comments }

Taraqqiyot October 17, 2005 at 2:45 am

Thanks for the article. It was useful stuff to read.
With all due respect to Karakalpak nation and their right for independence I would like to point out that their historical lands lie in Yettisuv, currently the territory of Kazakhstan, where they were massacred and expelled by Kzakh juzs. Following this tragedy Karakalpak nation moved westward along the Syrdarya river and setteld down on the lands of the Uzbek Khanate of Khiva that occupied much of the Caspian shores and steppes what is current Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
Even tough ntable conficts on tax payments existed among Karakalpak and the Khanate, Uzbeks let the landless nation to settle on its territory.
Some statistics. Ethnic Karakalpaks make up less than 2.5% of the total population of Uzbekistan and less than 32% of the total population of the Karakalpak autonomous republic.
If they wish to become independent, they are welcome to do that as long as they go back to their lands taken away by Kazakhs.

Uzbek October 17, 2005 at 5:39 am

Taraqqiyot, I could not say it better, Your my man!!!!!!! Thank You!!!

T-Rex October 19, 2005 at 3:33 am

Well, there is no land of Kazakhs, Tajiks or Kyrgyz, all of this was initially the territory of Uzbekistan. During the Soviet time the Russians divided this land, just like the British colonists divided African continent. Therefore, neither Karakalpaks, nor Kazakhs can claim this land!!!

Nathan October 19, 2005 at 9:04 am

Damn it… Okay, this is probably going to be unpopular, but with all due respect, there was no such thing as Uzbekistan or the common understanding of what an Uzbek is until fairly recently. So making these kinds of historical claims on any side has next to nothing to do with history.

I don’t deny the reality of the current national identities, and I bristle when people call them artificial. They are, after all, quite real. And if the current borders are to more or less reflect the boundaries of these nations (in the sense of the people who make them up), making historical claims to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan is a little over the top. Because why wouldn’t we then say that Mongols or Persians have a stronger historical claim to Uzbekistan’s territory?

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