The last month, the relationship between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan can be described as espionage. If the Tajik law enforcement agencies had previously reported on the detention of members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), now reports are about the number of Uzbek spies detained, and the Tajik courts, in turn, promptly began to judge them - for the past month three Uzbek “James bonds” were sentenced to different terms up to 13 years in prison. Uzbekistan did not stand aside and already there is information that a citizen of Tajikistan was detained in the border area, who had instructions from the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan to commit sabotage and terrorist attacks on the territory of Uzbekistan. Spy mania between the two countries was preceded by the accusation of the heads of law enforcement agencies of both countries against each other. But it all turned out to be a usual artillery preparation before more serious actions. Finally, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmonov, at the last meeting of the heads of the CSTO member states in Minsk openly declared that Uzbekistan is not fulfilling its obligations when joining the EurAsEC.
The relationship between the two states has not developed for about 15 years. This is a rather painful question for official Dushanbe. Moreover, it should be noted that the Government of Tajikistan has repeatedly stated that Tajikistan is ready for dialogue and cooperation. And this is in spite of the fact that for many years official Uzbekistan has ignored Rakhmonov’s statements, trying to protect himself from Tajikistan in every possible way, having mined unilaterally the Tajik-Uzbek border.
In fact, it is a paradox. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are the closest neighbors. They are separated only by a common state border. Both states have common historical roots, culture and traditions. There are quite a lot of mixed marriages between Uzbeks and Tajiks, and there has never been any hostility on ethnic grounds between the two nations. About 1 million ethnic Uzbeks live in the territory of Tajikistan, while in Uzbekistan, according to various estimates, there are several times more Tajiks living. The lack of land and air communications between the two states and the visa regime complicate the relationship of kinship between Uzbeks and Tajiks. For example, in order for a son who lives, say, in Khujand, to visit his sick mother or go to Uzbekistan for a funeral, you must first come to Dushanbe to get a visa, for which he must spend a few days and a decent amount of money. After that, he must return to Khujand and only from there go to the neighboring state.
In addition, in 2000, Uzbekistan unilaterally mined sections of the state border with Tajikistan. In total, starting from this period, several dozens of people were killed and injured by anti-personnel mine explosions in parts of the state border of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. And although recently the Uzbek side has repeatedly stated that it has begun demining certain parts of the border, official Dushanbe still has no information about this.
Having mined sections of its border, official Uzbekistan explained its actions by protecting the territory of its state from the breakthrough of militants and terrorists from Tajik territory. However, during all these years, not a single terrorist or militant exploded on an Uzbek mine. On them, unfortunately, in peacetime, only ordinary residents of both states are undermined.
Meanwhile, a recently-released refutation of the State Committee for the Protection of the State Border of Tajikistan (GKOGG RT) on the article by Ahmad Rizayev “Unlimited Lawlessness on the Tajik-Uzbek Border” published on the Internet says that “according to Tajik border guards, to the territory of Tajikistan from Uzbekistan members of various bandit groups penetrate, organize and carry out terrorist acts, during which innocent people are killed. Thus, in January 2005, three members of the anti-constitutional forces (AKS) stationed in the Republic of Uzbekistan organized an explosion outside the building of the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense of the Republic of Tajikistan, and in January 2006 killed the head of the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Tajikistan. The guilt and involvement of members of the gang, according to the Committee, is proved. “Moreover, during the investigation it was established that they repeatedly returned to Uzbekistan and maintained contact with the former rebel Colonel Mahmoud Khudoyberdiyev, who enjoys the patronage of the special services of Uzbekistan. Moreover, it is impossible not to forget the fact of the armed aggression of insurgents of the rebellious colonel Khudoyberdiyev in November 1998, the treacherous intruders from the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan into the Sughd region of the Republic of Tajikistan, ”the denial says. As a result of the invasion of this gang, which had more than one thousand militants, 25 law enforcement officers of the Republic of Tajikistan were killed and more than 100 were injured of varying degrees of severity.
The heads of law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan have repeatedly stated that they sent an official request to Uzbekistan with a request to extradite Makhmmud Khudoyberdiyev, but never received any response. In turn, according to them, the Tajik side always gives out criminals at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Uzbekistan.
On May 24 of this year, the Secretary General of the EurAsEC Grigori Rapota, after meeting with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov, told reporters that Uzbekistan before the end of 2006 in accordance with the decision of all the presidents of the EurAsEC member states, including Uzbekistan itself, should accede to all the EurAsEC agreements and agreements . According to these documents, Uzbekistan is obliged to ratify more than 65 documents, including on visa-free trips of citizens. Tajik people, especially ethnic Uzbeks, are eagerly awaiting the abolition of the visa regime by Uzbekistan, expecting that this will happen in the coming months. However, some high-ranking officials are quite skeptical about this issue. For example, a member of the Tajik parliament on June 14, after ratification by the Parliament of the Protocol on the accession of Uzbekistan to the Treaty on the Establishment of EurAsEC, told reporters: “It seems that Uzbekistan does not really want to ratify the EurAsEC agreements. And we all know how and under what conditions, Uzbekistan was forced to join EurAsEC. We hope that the Government of Tajikistan, if Uzbekistan begins to delay the ratification of these agreements, will raise this issue for discussion. ”
And as noted above, President Rakhmonov in Minsk, nevertheless, expressed his attitude towards this topic. But now it is not known what will happen next. Or will Uzbekistan really get involved in the integration processes in the region, in particular with Tajikistan, or will it even further strengthen its borders? If, however, the second option does occur, the experts do not exclude that in the near future, “spying” in relations between the two countries will take on other forms, and there already wait for expulsion and diplomats. But what does the people of these two countries have to do with it?