In recent days, both independent Uzbek media and foreign news outlets that cover Uzbekistan are all busy following, and reporting on, the happenings around Gulnara Karimova, eldest daughter of the President of Uzbekistan. Karimova apparently lost the favor of her father, and her unquestioned fame and authority appear to be loose and doomed to fall.
She has long been believed to be a successor to her father’s seat; but in my previous article I had stated that she was not likely to lead the way for presidency. I still hold the same position, and in the following paragraphs, I want to quickly express my view on recent events, and what impact, if any, they could bring on the political landscape in Uzbekistan.
First of all, nothing phenomenal happened in political life of Uzbekistan. The only issue, which gave all recent happenings a political color and took the international media’s attention is the fact that Gulnara Karimova is the daughter of the President of Uzbekistan.
We are currently witnessing anti-Karimova raids, and all business entities related to her are being inspected by state authorities.
There is no doubt that such acts cannot be initiated without a direct approval and order by Islam Karimov himself.
It is also naïve to believe that president ordered these inspections solely because widespread misconduct and corruption within Karimova’s business interests reached to unbearable levels.
It will be accurate to say that president is indeed very angry at her daughter. But we do not know what caused this anger.
The reason can be anything. It might be just a personal issue related to internal family relations. Even the unverified facts presented by controversial writer Usman Haqnazarov are also mostly related to Karimovs’ family affairs.
Please note that this public quarrel started when Lola Karimova, younger daughter of Islam Karimov, revealed in an unpleasant way that she had no direct contact with her sister for the past 12 years. Soon after, Gulnara publicly accused her sister and mother of practicing sorcery.
Islam Karimov, as a father, not as a head of state, can strip his daughter off all her belongings for anything, no matter how insignificant it might be, as long as “fatherly” rage goes beyond control.
Until today, Gulnara did not hold any significant public position inside the country. So, she has never been seen as a de jure contender for any influential position, let alone to be a president.
In this context, current media frenzy over Gulnara Karimova does not make any sense because these happenings do not have any potential to make a real change or impact in the political landscape of Uzbekistan.
Regardless of how entertaining and scandalous they may look, the tweets of Gulnara Karimova are nothing more than disorganized and emotional opinions of an estranged woman. In fact, everything she says does not contribute anything new to what public already knows about how things work in Uzbekistan.
What is next? How things might go further? As long as Karimov is healthy and in power, nothing will change in the country or in the president’s family. Karimov might have an unprecedented anger towards his daughter, but time is a healer. Soon or later, he will forgive his child, and that child will again build and collect her all fame and fortune that she lost during hard times even if it requires to start from scratch.
So, unless we see unexpected political moves by president Karimov or high-level personnel change at top government offices, it is too early to say anything about Gulnara Karimova’s fate, let alone the country’s political future.