Despite the end of communism, the Central Asian republics are still controlled by family-based oligarchtes that continue to rule with an iron-fist. Dissent is ruthlessly suppressed.
Change is in the wind in Central Asia and the Caucasus. How Iran and Russia manage their affairs and relations will have profound impact on future developments.
In our reporting of various regions especially in Central Asia, we have always identified Tajikistan as a special place in the former Soviet Union (FSU) where an Islamic socio-political movement could establish a viable governing system.
No matter what the exact outcome of recent events in Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, one thing is clear: Islamic revival in the former Soviet Union is gaining momentum.
While political elites in Central Asia, Russia and the West try to outwit each other and benefit from the revolt in Kyrgyzstan, the people of the former Soviet Union are studying the Kyrgyz revolt from a different perspective: to emulate it...
At first glance there appears nothing unusual about the ruling party's "landslide victory" in the March 1 parliamentary elections in Tajikistan. All authoritarian regimes, in Central Asia as elsewhere, use "elections" as an administrative tool to formalize their grip on power.
The former Soviet republics of Central Asia are not teeming with US servicemen, but more than 1,000 troops are based in Uzbekistan, and US forces have been allowed to use air-bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The Taliban government in Afghanistan has reacted angrily to Russian plans to establish a permanent military base in Tajikistan. The Taliban foreign minister, Mohammed Hasan Akhond, complained about the plans in a letter to UN secretary general Kofi Annan on April 11.
The rebel attack on the presidential guard’s barracks in Dushanbe on October 16 served notice that peace is not round the corner in Tajikistan. At least 14 soldiers and four rebels were killed in what was a major embarrassment for the regime of president Imomali Rakhmanov.
After four years of civil war which has left more than 100,000 dead, and the economy in shambles, the people of Tajikistan have had enough.
Following the April 23 treaty between Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in Moscow, perhaps Harvard professor Samuel Huntington should go back to the drawing board and revise his ‘clash of civilizations’ theory.