Almatov Resigns

by Nathan Hamm on 12/23/2005 · 3 comments

Just a reminder that if I have little to say about a story or no time to make a proper post, it goes over here.

And though I linked it on that page, it’s worth mentioning front and center that Zakir Almatov has resigned as Interior Minister.

Not one to replicate good work done by others, I encourage you to go visit neweurasia for more on the story.

UPDATE: He’s won himself some sort of state decoration as well.

But the ministry said Almatov had at the same time been decorated by President Islam Karimov for “outstanding merits in defending the Motherland, safeguarding peace and stability (and showing) devotion to a high cause and courage”.

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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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David Walther December 23, 2005 at 6:44 pm

Well, no mixes messages here. Let the man resign before he dies of cancer in some anonymous location and give him a medal while you’re at it. While they might not always act logically, you certainly have to give them something for consistency.

Rustam December 25, 2005 at 6:04 am

I am happy and sad at the same time for Almatov. Strangely enough, sad because he was one of the most Uzbek ministers in the government of IshAK. The most Uzbek because he never shared the same past, upbringing as most of the ministers and IshAK himself, I mean he never worked before in the Communist Party and he was not from the family who has been the part of so called politburo, was not up brought in a family where Russian as opposed to Uzbek was the main language, where everyone looked at Moscow as the centre of the world and never enjoyed the lavish life style and never had to learn Uzbek to come and face the people. Having said that I do understand perfectly that he has killed a lot of people, innocent Uzbeks, long before Andijon. He sold his soul to devil in 1999 when the so called cleaning up of the fundamental Islamists began, with the torture and arbitrary arrests as well as disappearances that followed. His Ministry, his men had to face the brunt of the disgust and curse of the ordinary people on the streets and in the markets. Ministry of Internal Affairs has been enlarged massively after those events of 1999, millions of budget funds were channelled, all the ammunition, new buildings to house new militia officers, new cars, new clothing, communication technologies…. His ministry has the biggest administrative building in Tashkent, none other ministry has this large a building, if you were in Tashkent You must have seen in it in Cosmonauts. The functions of the Ministry include so many tasks that it was impossible and is impossible to expect anything of high quality and efficiency from the ministry, it includes among others the following:
1. Issuance of passport, registration of citizens from regions in the capital, Tashkent and people without the citizenship in the Republic as well as issuing permits to travel abroad;
2. State automobile inspection – which includes tasks ranging from the issuance of drivers permit to the control of the traffic, response to accidents and security of roads where president’s escort passes every day;
3. Assurance of security of certain places as well as the peaceful passage of events – security at the underground stations, at the football matches as well as Navruz and Mustaqillik events. Security of the Tashkent, when the bombings took place it was Militia which closed down the city and conducted checks of each cars and house searches.
4. Internal forces of Ministry of Internal Affairs – small army with the required machinary, sort of rapid reaction force although was used in fights against IMU in 2000-2001.
5. Usual policing work – investigation and transfer of the accused criminals to prosecution.
6. Local militia stationed in neighbourhoods in order to control and to know the atmosphere in the neighbourhoods of Tashkent.
Having accounted these functions I should state that it is known widely that the militia have become used in everything, they were used to find a tractor to work in the cotton field because the governor of the region said so, they worked in the markets to control so called peace and order, and they were and are everywhere. As a result it has seen the anger of the people; remember shootings in the April-May 2004, sporadic attacks against the militia officers and the general hate of people when they see militia officers.
And all this is happened under the eyes of IshAK, he knowingly let this massive inefficient machine to exist, no legislative basis of the actions of the militia, in contrast to other CIS countries we do not have Law on militia, which would set out rights and obligations of the militia, no transparent organizational structure, no clear division of responsibility between SNB and MVD, this was the plan of the Karimov. He wanted it to be this way; I personally will give you anything you want as long as you will serve me, financing and support. No laws and rules because he never wants to limit the power of his repressive machine, he wanted to be this way so he could order the militia anything as he pleased, sky is the limit to his imagination.
The saddest part of the story is the fact that Almatov built this system and he suffered from it at the end. He neither can say nor do anything against Karimov because he knows that his family and relatives are in Tashkent, he perfectly understands what will become of the families of the political opponents, and after all he has done these things to previous perceived opponents.
Positive part of this development is however the fact that his departure, the way, the manner will make a lot of the old guard in the government think again where they are heading with Karimov. Almatov’s resignation has the same weight and importance as the resignation of former minister of foreign affairs S. Safaev, these people have a lot of support among the civil service, they did establish schools, they were the magnets pulling together some young employees who looked upon them and believed that tomorrow they will see the brighter days, now they are gone, Karimov lost credibility in the eyes of so many civil servants.
The fight between the SNB and MVD will I believe make it self felt, now with the SNB taking over of MVD and the hopefuls for the post of the boss in the MVD being slapped in their face and who will surely removed from their post by the new minister – will all this generate a resentment in the MVD. And I believe it is a ground for a thought for other ministers, the fact that Karimov so easily can blame for everything his ministers and sack them with a medal when they are no longer needed.
At the end of the day it is Karimov, the puppet master who is running the show and as always hiding behind the curtains because too afraid to take up the responsibility and look straight into the eyes of the people.

Laurence December 27, 2005 at 9:10 am

Thank you, Rustam, for your interesting comments…

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