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Gulmurod Khalimov, a U. Although reliable figures are scarce, the non-profit International Crisis Group estimates about Tajiks have gone to fight in Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile, Tajik and Russian military officials have continued to raise the threat of spillover from Afghanistan, saying that hundreds of militants have already made incursions across the border and that fighters from Iraq and Syria are beginning to return home. While experts contend the security risk Islamist militants pose to Tajikistan is rising, the Rahmon regime has been quick to use the threat of radical Islamists to serve its own political ends.

In the lead-up to the May 22 referendum, Rahmon led a far-reaching crackdown, muffling the media and using the weakened security situation as a pretext to drive his opponents into exile or even kill them. In August , Amindzhon Gulmurodzoda, a former Radio Free Europe correspondent, was convicted of forgery and sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly falsifying his birth certificate when he was 6 years old. Similarly, Roman Kozhevnikov, a veteran freelance journalist and former Reuters stringer, left Tajikistan in June to seek asylum in the United States after sources in the security forces tipped him off that his political reporting had angered high-level officials, endangering him and his family.

In September , the government banned the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan IRPT , the leading opposition group, whose leadership was accused of plotting a coup. Despite years of government harassment, the party still managed to retain 40, official members before its demise. The May 22 amendments mean that the IRPT, or any other type of religious opposition, is constitutionally illegal.

In March , unidentified assailants shot and killed Umarali Quvvatov, the leader of the banned opposition party Group 24, in Istanbul, where he had been living in exile. A Tajik man who claimed to be sympathetic to his cause had invited Quvvatov and his family out to dinner, but Quvvatov and his family became nauseous at the meal and went out outside for fresh air. While outside, according to his wife, an unidentified Tajik-speaking man approached Quvvatov from behind, fired a single shot to his head, and fled the scene.

The IRPT had long been the main outlet for moderate religious expression in Tajikistan, especially as the government enacted increasingly restrictive policies against Islam throughout the country. Minors are barred from attending mosques, imams are forced to praise the president in their sermons, strict regulations limit who may make pilgrimage to Mecca, and local and international media reports have pointed to security officers rounding up devout Tajiks and forcibly shaving their beards. For Kabiri, the blanket crackdown and the lack of economic opportunities is especially worrisome as it will only drive disaffected youth underground, increasing the risk of radicalization.

While officially state-run, revenues rarely make it into the national budget, with profits believed to be routed to a shell company in the British Virgin Islands, according to a report by the Economist in Many analysts interpreted a shootout in the streets of the capital on September 4, , between security forces and a small band of gunmen led by Gen.

The bloody day of fighting left 26 dead. The general and his remaining men were later tracked down in the mountains killed on September16 in a shootout, according to security forces. Tajik state media depicted Nazarzoda as a leader of the criminal underworld and Rahmon painted the episode as a fight against extremism , accusing the General and his militia of having ties to the Islamic State. Moscow plays an important role in the security of the country, making itself the major guarantor of the security of Tajikistan which will allow a motorised division of the Russian army — already present since the early nineties — deployed along the Afghan-Tajik border.

This involves seven thousand men with the task of training the local authorities and to counter drug smuggling and terrorism. As well as that, Russia has set aside about one billion dollars to reinforce equipment in its three Tajik bases.

How Tajikistan’s President Extended his Term—for Life

The territorial disputes with Uzbekistan and the republic of Kyrgyzstan over the fertile and strategic Fergana Valley, represents a further threat to internal security and regional equilibrium. There is no consistent and successful advocacy but the one founded in strong credibility. Credibility is the quality or power of inspiring belief; it can…. Ants are the busiest creatures in the world. Every ant has a full time job, with no holidays and no half-days off Ants like to work,….

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Up until the s, two successive clandestine groups in the tradition of the pre oppositional currents, both quite durable, dominated the underground political scene. Of these two nationalist Pan-Turkist parties, one, socialist and secular, relied on Soviet aid, and the other came from the anti-communist and Islamic tradition centred on the south of Xinjiang.

Both could call upon a base of militancy that was relatively wide compared with present-day groupings see below. At the same time they were counting on significant underground mobilisation to prepare for a general uprising in Xinjiang. Mainly drawing in Uyghurs but also Kazakhs, it was founded in secret, according to the Chinese authorities, in February ; but, according to the militants who have now taken refuge abroad, some of its cells had already been active for several years beforehand This was a separatist Pan-Turkist party with Marxist allegiances.

Well-structured and hierarchic, it swiftly recruited former officials of the East Turkistan Republic as well as young people from Turkic-speaking minorities. According to the East Turkistan National Centre, this party numbered more than 60, members and branches in Xinjiang These figures are hard to verify. However, the ETPP is probably the largest secret organisation ever created since the liberation of Xinjiang. The rise to power of this underground party seems to have been favoured mainly by the excesses of the Cultural Revolution and by the deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations.

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As is confirmed by Chinese sources and the testimony of some of its former militants, the KGB developed its links with this party mostly through its agents active in Kazakhstan and seems to have provided it with logistical support on several occasions:. The Soviet Spy agency sent a group of fourteen people with spies carrying radio transmitters, weapons and funds for their activities. Table 2 : Distribution of wealth in the main sub-regional administrative units in Xinjiang. Source: Xinjiang tongji nianjian, op.

At the same time, it took up guerrilla activities sabotage, skirmishes with the police and the Chinese army… and was behind various attempts at insurrection during the s and the s. Still quite active during the s, it was gradually weakened by the arrest of its leaders, by the gradual falling away of Soviet support as the tension between Moscow and Peking relaxed, and then by the decline of the communist ideology. Nevertheless, while the ETPP was in decline, a new party of anti-Marxist opposition was developing in southern Xinjiang.

This Pan-Turkic nationalist movement also aimed at renewing Islam among the Uyghurs and developed from networks of mosques in southern Xinjiang during the s. According to official sources, it apparently generated offshoots in numerous cities in the Tarim Basin, indeed as far as Ghulja Yining , Turfan and Urumqi The rising took the form of a jihad recalling that which led to the creation of the Turk Islamic Republic of East Turkistan Because of the little information available about this organisation, such links are difficult to check and to determine as true or false.

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However, the slogans proclaimed during the insurrection suggest that the ETIP at this time was more a renovated form of the Islamic Pan-Turkism historically established in the south of Xinjiang than a pure reincarnation of radical Islam:. The s increase in repression is generally linked with exacerbated Party anxieties on several levels. It considers that an authoritarian crackdown is essential to ensure the survival of the regime.

At the same time, at the start of the s, the Chinese regime feared that the accession to independence of the Central Asian Republics, and also the spread of radical Islam in the region see below , would seriously destabilise Xinjiang if nothing was done. On the one hand, the accession to independence of other large Turkic populations of Central Asia was likely to legitimise and strengthen Uyghur separatism.

Bears of the Pamirs

On the other, the cultural links that bind the Uyghurs together with the peoples of the new Republics, and also with the Uyghur Diaspora in these countries 46 , allowed Peking to fear that solidarity would build up between the Uyghur separatists and these states or certain organisations present on their soil. Firstly, some of them Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan in particular have effectively offered asylum to the new refugees, and even recognised organisations of the local Diaspora defending the independence of East Turkistan.

Fergana Valley

Peking then applied itself to cutting off the militants active in Xinjiang from these potential supports outside. By playing on the prospects for settling frontier disputes and for economic co-operation, and by promoting co-operation in the struggle against separatism and Islamism in Central Asia through the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation SCO 47 , China persuaded the Central Asian republics to ban the Uyghur organisations present on their territories, and even today to extradite some militants who have recently taken refuge there This campaign began shortly after a special meeting in March on maintaining stability in Xinjiang, and so there it assumed a special dimension, being targeted at separatism and illegal religious activities.

The Permanent Committee of the Politburo of the CCP then issued an exhaustive list of strict directives aimed at tightening control over Xinjiang and eradicating potentially subversive activities This intense campaign of repression led to thousands of arrests and also to constant human rights violations and the improper use of the death penalty By fencing off, even closing down, the last spaces for the expression of identity or religion 52 , these restrictions put relations between Uyghur society and the Chinese regime under considerable strain.

Local politicians, in thrall to Peking, are unable to challenge policies imposed from the centre and often very strongly disliked nuclear tests on the Lop Nor site, the restriction of religious freedoms, the enforcement of birth control while colonists are flooding in… ; this fact has provoked numerous protest movements. Faced with a strained social and political climate, the local authorities who cannot challenge the policies dictated by Peking have often reacted with brutality. Security assessments of the post impact 9 2. Russian, Chinese and U. Russia 11 2. China 11 2. The United States 11 3.

Niches for European engagement 12 3. Security programmes: victims of distrust between Central Asians and Afghans 13 3. Developing joint programmes in the civilian sphere 14 3. The June review of the EU Strategy for Central Asia evidences a more structured security orientation and emphasises As the NATO drawdown from Afghanistan approaches, potential threats to Central Asia stemming from post the international community increasingly considers the Afghanistan.

Although security seems to be the keyword, a whole.

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