Karimov’s hard course saved Uzbekistan from chaos
Yesterday, at a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Samarkand, where the Russian president went to honor the memory of Islam Karimov, Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed hope that Uzbekistan's relations with Russia would be allied: ‘’Islam Karimov always said, and we we will continue this, that we have absolutely strategic relationships with the Russian Federation. Today your visit to Uzbekistan speaks about your personal attitude to our distinguished Islam Karimov, about your attitude to the people of Uzbekistan."
In fact, the relations between Moscow and Tashkent were not rosy, but it is fair to say that since its independence Uzbekistan really had to go through a very complex journey under the leadership of Karimov.
"The head of Uzbekistan was not a supporter of the Soviet Union’s collapse, and Tashkent through Karimov’s mouth declared its sovereignty a few days after the failure of the August putsch in Moscow, when the collapse of the Soviet Union was already evident. By this time the Soviet Uzbek republic had been shaken by numerous conflicts. This composite state, on the territory of which there were different cultural and political centers of the region, was artificially tailored from different regions, full of clan, regional, ethnic, religious and economic problems," the senior research fellow of the Department of Central Asian Studies of the Center for Studies of the Problems of the CIS Countries of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Ivan Ippolitov, said.
According to him, ‘’by the time of the collapse of the Union the Republic had been in a deep crisis, which had emerged in the late 1980s in connection with the well-known events in the Ferghana valley, in the Namangan region in the first place, in the course of the inter-ethnic violence on the basis of the hostility of the Uzbek population particularly towards the Meskhetian Turks. Then about 17 thousand people had to be evacuated from the Ferghana region, that is, the scale of the events had been very serious. And this crisis was exacerbated by severe social upheavals in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, and particularly in Tajikistan, where until 1997 there was a heavy, bloody war. The southern borders of Uzbekistan experienced the uninterrupted crisis in Afghanistan, which was ongoing until now. In such circumstances it was necessary to make remarkable efforts to stabilize the situation.’’
Today, experts say that Uzbekistan can be kept from a possible aggravation of the long-standing conflicts by the new head of the republic.
Ippolitov believes that the main result of the reign of Islam Karimov was a stabilization of the situation and the transformation of Uzbekistan into a fairly strong, effective and cohesive state by regional standards: "The authorities were able to overcome, to smooth over the inter-regional, inter-clan, inter-ethnic conflicts to a large extent, of course, not without certain reservations that were based on the leading role of the Uzbek people. In the 1990s a stake was made on Uzbek culture, that is, on the maximum development of its the most nationally painted sides. In terms of the stabilization of the situation and the building of an effective state, Islam Karimov actually succeeded in everything, everything was done efficiently."