In Uzbekistan, you can often hear the opinion that President Islam Karimov does not receive information about the lawlessness and crimes committed in the country. The majority of the population still continues to believe the ardent speeches and appeals of Karimov, without thinking about the reasons for the low informativeness of the head of state. “The president himself is a good man; a group of corrupt people like the mafia has gathered around him,” said a middle-aged Tashkent taxi driver.
It is easy to entice people who hold such an opinion with stories about the existence of some powerful clans that allegedly put a barrier to any unwanted information so that it does not reach the president. According to another popular opinion, the real culprits of the socio-political and socio-economic crisis are the clans who govern the president himself and pursue their personal interests. If we proceed from the classical understanding of clans, then these are groups that have common social financial and political interests that promote their interests to the state level.
Conquering power, such clans support their “like-minded people” from the highest echelons of power and are trying with all their might to retain their positions. From the outside, it seems quite likely that it is the clans who rule Uzbekistan. There are often “analytical” articles on the Internet that lead readers to the view that clans traditionally have powerful power. This position is very beneficial to the president and it is supported primarily by the special services of the Uzbek regime. For many years they, faithfully and truly, served the interests not of the state, but the personal interests of Karimov and were interested in the maximum extension of the president in power. In the event of a liberalization of the regime, numerous repressed opponents will demand the punishment of former and current heads of the national security service who have committed crimes. For this purpose, specially created propaganda disseminates the opinion that it is not the president who is to blame for the economic crisis, poverty, unemployment and other misfortunes of the population. At the extraordinary sessions of regional councils, the president with a crash expels khokims (heads of regional administrations), who at one time were appointed by him, but at some point should be sacrificed to maintain the opinion that it was not him who was to blame, but the poor subordinates. State media broadcast the speech of the president about the inadmissibility of corruption, no one dares to stand up for the former owner who has fallen into disfavor.
Three years ago, several high-profile "analytical" articles by unknown political analyst Usman Khaknazarov about the power of the clans and their influence on President Karimov were published on the Internet. These articles aroused great interest of the population, printouts were handed over from hands to hands, the more enterprising sold each article to one thousand Uzbek soums ($ 1), interested embassies of Western countries translated the articles into English. It should be recalled that at that time there was a breeze of freedom, American-Uzbek relations were on the top, international organizations were actively working in the country, promoting projects for the democratization of society. The articles of Usman Khaknazarov surprisingly coincided with the time of strengthening the positions of opposition-minded citizens.
Everyone knows the leaders of the three clans - Fergana, Samarkand and Tashkent. Over the past 15 years, such well-known, in the past, powerful personalities like Temur Alimov, Ismoil Zhurabekov, Zokir Almatov were the closest circle of the president, they were called clan leaders. However, contrary to the opinion of their power, the president easily got rid of them, sending everyone to resign. In February 2004, an article was published in the newspapers, which contained the sensational news that a major Uzbek official who had led the agricultural sector for about 20 years, Ismail Jurabekov, was under investigation. Criminal charges were brought against him: large-scale theft, abuse of power, and others. But, despite such serious accusations, as further indicated in the article, given the fact that Jurabekov pleaded guilty and given his old age and state of health, the criminal case against him was discontinued according to the last amnesty of the president.
Analyzing the system of personnel reshuffling and the interaction of corrupt power structures, there are doubts about the existence of these clans. The regime is governed by a simple authoritarian method based on the principles of betrayal, denunciations and sycophancy. Unfortunately, such a system, similar to the Stalinist one, can last for a very long time, since it will harshly suppress any civil democratic initiatives.
In the first years of independence, the administrative apparatus of the country had its personnel policy; a corresponding post of state adviser on personnel was created. Until 1994, while Temur Alimov was not appointed to this position, in the selection of personnel, the first place was occupied by the intellectual level, management abilities and geographical affiliation. After Karimov’s authoritarian position was strengthened, the appointment to senior positions was similar to the auction, the chairs were bought and clan membership played a minimal role. Thus, it was the amount of money that influenced what rank a buyer could become. Khokims, judges, ministers became people pursuing the personal interests of enrichment, who did not think about the fate of a developing country. An example of this is the appointment to management positions of dubious “entrepreneurs”, such as Salim Abduvaliev and Gafur Rakhimov.
This system helped strengthen non-clans. The regime permeated with corruption rests on people who know how to communicate and easily betray each other. The existing management system has created a situation in which any previously powerful person, who is now disliked by the president, is left alone, his property is taken away by an obedient court decision. These days, trials are being held over a number of high-ranking officials, in particular, the former hokim of Tashkent city, Kozim Tulyaganov, the former head of the Muslim spiritual administration, Abdurashid Bakhromov. All of them are accused of abuse of office and embezzlement of state property, former Minister of Justice Abdusamad Palvonzoda’s loyal to Karimov kills his grief in alcohol, Temur Alimov is under house arrest, a criminal case against former Defense Minister Kodir Gulyamov ... So why are their clans not protected from harassment regime?
President Karimov has created a system - “every man for himself” and the official who bought his post for a lot of money, is trying to stretch his time in power even for a day.