The problem of Uzbekistan and of other countries of Central Asia, as well as of most countries of the CIS, is not having developed a political culture throughout Soviet history. To be more precise, as there were never dissidents, there is no tradition of political debate. Independent Uzbekistan immediately became a state of authoritarian leadership. The existence of each publication and of each independent political movement depended on the government’s decisions. All leaders of parties of democratic opposition emigrated. The radical Muslims have occupied the place of liberal movements and constitute the nucleus of opposition to Islam Karimov. The president has been deprived of the possibility of beginning negotiations in a situation like the one that exists today. The economic and social conditions of the Fergana valley allowed a look of this situation for a long time.
Everything seems to indicate that Karimov has been able to put a brake on the opposition, but there are other regions that can unite in an uprising. It is necessary to begin negotiations with sensible representatives of intellectual movements and religious. If Karimov tries to close the country, just as he did in Turkmenbachi, he would do no more than calm protest, at most for a few years. The public gets information through the Internet and on foreign radio stations; therefore it is indispensable to reform internal politics. Accusations of terrorism made by Karimov have pacified neither the public nor the international community. At the moment there are many people in jail only for affirming their belief in Islam. By continuing to apply those measures, the Uzbek president will not end up being a regional leader or obtain any international support. The presence of US military bases in the country is no reason to overlook criticism made against his internal politics and human rights violations.

Izvestia (Russia)
Daily with a circulation of 430 000 copies founded in 1917, like the Pravda.

" ТАШКЕНТ ЛИШИЛ СЕБЯ ПАРТНЕРОВ ПО ДИАЛОГУ ", by Oleg Panfilov, Izvestia, May 13, 2005.