Tajik Islamic party claims growing support after Badakhshan operations
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||16 October 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Tajik Islamic party claims growing support after Badakhshan operations, 16 October 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50890737c.html [accessed 16 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
October 16, 2012
Muhiddin Kabiri, head of Tajikistan's Islamic Renaissance Party
WASHINGTON – The chairman of Tajikistan's opposition Islamic Renaissance Party says that public support has increased in the wake of this summer's military operations in Gorno-Badakhshan province.
Muhiddin Kabiri was speaking at George Washington University in the U.S. capital.
While conceding that the number of supporters was difficult to verify, he said residents of the restive eastern province, particularly youth and women, were increasingly looking to the party "not only because we are an Islamic party, but because they are looking for an alternative."
Government operations against militants in July and August left some 70 people dead in Gorno-Badakhshan, sparking an information blackout, protests, and questions about Dushanbe's motives.
The Islamic Renaissance Party, which is the only legal Islamist party in Central Asia, has also come under increased pressure in the region. Kabiri claimed it is continuing.
He also said the party plans to participate in the 2013 presidential election, either offering its own candidate or supporting a candidate chosen by a coalition. Kabiri has advocated a democratic state that incorporates Islamic values.
Kabiri met with Robert Blake, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Affairs, on October 15. He is scheduled to travel to New York for meetings with the Tajik diaspora.