"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who could the US replace Karimov with ?

Rustam Inoyatov,(see pic) is the head honcho of the feared Uzbekistan National Security Service (NSS). Born 22 June 1944 - in Sherabad, Surhandarya province, he attended the Tashkent Faculty of Oriental Studies, learning Farsi and English and also worked as a labourer in Tashkent construction companies. From 1968 he was in the Army and served with the Uzbek KGB and then the KGB USSR , where he was attached to the Soviet Embassy 1976-1981.

Zakir Almatov, the Interior Minister since 1991 was born in Tashkent in 1949and worked in metal works before serving in the Soviet Army. From there in 1971 he worked in the Interior Ministry, working his way up, via a law degree from Tashkent State University. He became head of the Tashkent regional executive committee's interior affairs department, deputy chief of Tashkent oblast interior affairs department, chief of criminal investigations' department of Uzbek SSR and on 16th September 1991 was named as Interior Minister of Republic of Uzbekistan from where he now controls Uzbekistan’s large police force.

Embassy and expat gossip says both men are said to be anxious to succeed Ismail Karimov, or at least be a major player in replacing Karimov.

Inoyatov and Almatov each have, in effect, private armies, as both the NSS and Interior Ministry possess independent and heavily-armed military units, heavily trained by US staff and paid for my US aid. They both have their own investigation and surveillance departments, as well as rely on independent communication facilities, transportation and other infrastructure. The 2 rivals have considerable influence in Uzbekistan’s business sector. “Retired” officers are often placed in top positions at enterprises and banks controlled by the two agencies. This allows both Inoyatov and Almatov to operate their state agencies as personal fiefdoms.

Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev and Economy Minister Rustam Azimov, have political and clan clout but they do not have, independent military clout.

Recently Inoyatov and Almatov have strengthened their personal authority. Almatov, for example, has had a sweeping personnel change at the Interior Ministry, installing reliable allies in key positions (see previous post re new deputy) . Inoyatov is reportedly backed by a Tashkent-based political clan, while Almatov support stems from Samarkand clans.

Inoyatov, who has headed the NSS since 1995, has support from the Commonwealth of Independent States for preserving many of the vestiges of former Soviet KGB as he re designed the Uzbek service to combat domestic security threats, in particular Islamic radicalism and political dissent.

Almatov, built an iron fisted reputation in the early 1990s, achieving a dramatic reduction in crime in Uzbekistan’s major cities. In addition, Almatov acted as Karimov’s man in eliminating potential political rivals, either arresting opposition leaders or driving them into exile. He was a major players in the ongoing campaign to stifle freedom of religious expression. Almatov’s wants to succeed Karimov and the appointment of Inoyatov, and enhancement of the NSS’s powers in order to serve have been helped by Karimov to use him as a counterweight to Almatov’s increasing influence – for example by assuming responsibility for border guards and customs.
In all this, Karimov’s authoritarian system, is supported by the US, and to some extent other western nations in a subservient role to the pentagon who see their military base there crucial on the supply route to Afghanistan. However Kharzai is anxious to see US bases developed in Afghanistan and the need for the Uzbek base may decline – bit it will not disappear.

Late last year there have been signs that a normally pliant population is reaching a point where it is losing its fear of punishment and is starting to resist government repression. Beyond the Islamic radical-inspired violence that hit Uzbekistan in 2004, the country in recent months has experienced a series of protests staged by regular Uzbeks upset with declining living standards. In November 2004, 6,000 protesters took to the streets of Kokand in the Ferghana Valley, to condemn new government taxation and trade policies. This spread to other towns and cities - including in Ferghana City and Margilan, as well as in Karshi in southern Kashkadarya Province.

On December 3 in of Bakht in Syrdarya province, and on December 6 in Shakhrikhan in Andizhan Province anti-government demonstrations took place. In both cases, the protests involved decisions by local authorities to cut off utilities, natural gas, electricity, and water. In addition, a rally occurred December 10 near the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent, the site of the March suicide bombing attacks against police officers. Local residents protested a government ruling to demolish their homes in order to build a road.

During the December protests, the authorities showed surprising restraint. Previously officials reacted quickly and forcefully, making mass arrests. In December, authorities merely cordoned off protest sites and made no effort to forcefully disperse demonstrators. In all cases, local political officials were dispatched to engage the protestors, and issue promises that their complaints would be addressed. In Bakht, protests ceased after authorities switched electricity back on.

Of course there are outside contenders like Abdurahim Pulat of the Birlik or “Unity “ party who is a computer scientist and was a Professor until 1991 in the Academy of Science of Uzbekistan. In 1992 he was badly beaten by an “anonymous” group of people and was hospitalized with broken skull and brain damage. The attack occurred in front of the the procurator's building, just after he had been interrogated. In 1993, speaking to the parliament, Karimov announced his readiness to break heads of a few hundreds of troublemakers. After this statement, mass harassment against opposition activists began. Hundreds were arrested; beatings, bombings and arson of houses occurred. Tens of activists of Birlik were jailed. In reply to the actions of the Uzbek government, the US authorities had postponed, and later cancelled a visit by President Karimov visit to Washington, DC that had been planned.

At the end of 1992, after a second assassination attempt, Abdurahim Polat emigrated to Turkey. He now is said to live in the USA.

A number of the chairmen of provincial organizations of Birlik, including Pulat Ohunov, was imprisoned for 4.5 years, but under the pressure from the international democratic community was released in 2.5 years. Later, he emigrated to Sweden. Nosir Zokir, the chairman of Namangan organization of Birlik, was sentenced to three years and freed after one year in prison.

In December 1992, Abdumannob Polat, chairman of the Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan and member of Birlik, was abducted from Bishtek, Kirgizstan by an Uzbek security detail. He was co-sponsor and director of the international conference on human rights in Central Asia, organized by Union of Councils, an American non-governmental organization. In Uzbekistan, Abdumannob Polat was sentenced to three years of imprisonment, but released because of strong international protests. He emigrated to the US.

In Sweden (Pulat Ohun), in Germany (Anvar Usman) and in Austria (Yodgor Obid), working with a number of independent democrats (Jahongir Muhammad, former member of Uzbek parliament in 1990-93) have organized the publication in Turkey and dissemination in Uzbekistan of opposition newspapers Mustaqil Haftalik (Independent Weekly), Birlik, and journal Harakat (Movement) in Uzbek language. A website www.birlik.net has also been set up but is run on a fairly ad hoc basis.

No comments:

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish