Achievements of independent Uzbekistan

On the eve of celebrating the 13th year of independence of Uzbekistan Aloke Shekhar, an Indian Journalist working in this Central Asian country, had a special talk about the present political  and social situation  of Uzbekistan with the Chief Consultant (Press Service) of President Secretariat Mr. Sherzod Kudratkhojaev.

Reporter. These years of Independence were not easy for Uzbekistan, during these 13 years economy of the country has seen achievements and collapses. As a journalist, could you give the objective (practically) assessment of the processes underway in the country?

Mr. Sherzod Kudratkhojaev. Yes, years of Independence were not easy for Uzbekistan, but in many respects they were creative ones. This period of independent development was a period of gradual implementation of large scale democratic and market oriented reforms, advancement towards modernization of the society, development of international partnership and strengthening of the prestige of the Republic in the World Community. The most important thing is that during the years of Independence we could ensure peace, stability and mutual consent in the country. From one -ided and raw material based economy Uzbekistan today managed to create multifaceted infrastructure with really working institutions and positive macro economy. The views and minds of the people are changing. They now understand that success of everyone today depends first of all on his own energetic activity. Introduction of his own personality formulates the success. This also has reflection in growing showings of GDP. In six months of 2004 GDP’s growth was 106,2 to compare with the same period of 2003.

Administrative reforms are underway in Uzbekistan with theaim to increase efficiency of state organs, to achieve transparency of the Government and to reduce bureaucracy. So we may state that today Uzbekistan is steadily advancing forward on its own path of development.

Reporter It has been mentioned also that prestige of Uzbekistan as a politically stable and dynamically developing country is increasing day by day at the International Arena. Could you give some concrete examples in this regard?

Mr. Sherzod Kudratkhojaev In 1990s Independent Republic of Uzbekistan was almost not known in the World. But today prestige of Uzbekistan at the International Arena has significantly increased. Uzbekistan has occupied its deserved place in the political map. Our country has become an active member of many International Organizations, it has its own vectors in pursuing of its foreign and internal policies. Two Chambers Parliament is to be set up in the country. Many parties are functional in the country. Different opinions have become the main feature of our life. Sixteen confessions are peacefully coexisting in the country. More than one hundred nationalities are living in unique atmosphere of harmony in our country. And this is very important step towards democratic reforms.

Recently in June 2004 Summit of SCO was held in Tashkent and Uzbekistan put forward new conception of wide range cooperation at this Summit. Regional antiterrorist structure has started functioning in Tashkent. Uzbekistan has established and has been successfully implementing pragmatic cooperation with many countries like: USA, Russia, India,China , Germany, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Spain, Kuwait, Ukraine, Kazakhstan ect.

Reporter International terrorism is attaining very dangerous size throughout the globe. It is threatening many countries and Uzbekistan today also is affected by this evil. So what is the goal of the people fighting under the slogan of Islam? Did you mention this problem in the multimedia CD you produced to commemoratetheindependence of Uzbekistan? Did you tell about the policy of Uzbekistan in this regard? What organisations are behind such attacks in the country, including those banned by the law? What is the reason for breaking peace in the country?

Mr. Sherzod Kudratkhojaev Detailed answers on your questions you can find in the book of the President entitled “Uzbekistan on the threshold of the 21st century: threats to the security, conditions and the guarantees of the progress.” In this book President Islam Karimov has expressed his thoughts about such threats to global security like religious extremism and fundamentalism. Unfortunately, today certain organisations and circles are using faithfulness of the innocent people for their own interest. They are misinterpreting religion. Religion itself is an instrument for achieving their mercantile geopolitical tasks only. Their teaching creates evils like extremism, xenophobia, violence, confrontation, total demolition and spiritual degradation. Such evils have nothing to do with any kind of religion.

President Islam Karimov has been always stressing upon the role of Islam as one of the largest world religions, having special impotence in their spiritual development of the personality. I would like to cite the following words from his works-“We stand for continuos role of religion in attracting the people to highest spiritual, moral and ethnic values , to historical and cultural heritage. But we will never tolerate the religious slogans to become the flag of the power struggle, the reason to interfere in the policy, economy, law and justice, because we consider all this as a serious threat to be posed to the security and stability of our State.”

Addressing a Press Conference in Tashkent recently Prosecutor General of Uzbekistan Rashidjon Kadirov stated that preliminary information gathered during the investigation gives the reason to make conclusion that explosions in July in Tashkent have direct links with explosions in March and April, 2004 in Tashkent city, Tashkent and Bukhara Provinces. All these terrorist acts are an integral part of a single chain of bandit’s activity, masterminded and coordinated by one centre , located outside of the Republic. These facts testify that International radical-extremist organisations including Hisb-e-Tahrir are behind those attacks. All terrorists involved in those explosions were members of this organisation. This is real face of Hisb-e- Tahrir which pretends to be a peaceful one. I think that the High Court will issue a final verdict for them. As eminent politologist Zbignev Bzejinski rightly pointed- “Uzbekistan from the strategical point of view is the key State of Central Asia.” He also stated, “Uzbekistan has its own history, people of Uzbekistan have the feeling of self identification,the leadership has formulated reasonable conception of the regional security. That’s why Uzbekistan is the most important country of this region.” I would like to add few words to his assessment. Uzbekistan with its 25 million population is the largest country in Central Asia. The largest Muslim population in Central Asia is also living in Uzbekistan. We have a number of religious holy places. A number of great theologizes and scholars were born at the Uzbek soil. All of them are highly respected by the Islamic and entire world civilizations. Most probably all these factors disturb certain evil forces who want to play this card in their dirty games. Uzbekistan today meets these challenges and threats with the open mind. Efficient activity of our security service, unity and consolidation of the people will never allow them to break peace and stability in the country.

Aloke  Shekhar,

Special for PRAVDA.Ru   

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova