Central Asian States reluctant to take sides in anti-terror coalitions

Eurasianet is reporting that Central Asian countries are spurning all anti-terror coalition suitors, believing that they have little to gain by picking a side, including that of Russia and the U.S. in addition to the Saudis. When Saudi Arabia announced about creation of a 34-member coalition with majority of Muslim states, it lacked post-Soviet states.…

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Tajikistan: Hunt for Nazarzoda Ongoing

Efforts to capture former Tajik Deputy Defense Minister Abduhalim Nazarzoda are ongoing after clashes on the outskirts of Dushanbe led to 22 deaths late last week. Reports of the Tajik effort to capture or kill Nazazoda indicate that the operation is focused on the Romit Gorge, about 150 kilometers to the east of Dushanbe. Nazarzoda…

Tajikistan: Government Instructs Officials to Avoid Independent Media

The government of Tajikistan has instructed its officials to prioritize state-controlled over independent Tajik or international media sources. As a result, in-country journalists complain, their already restricted contact with government officials has been almost entirely eliminated. The official statement released by the Tajik government instructs its officials to limit its contact with any independent journalists…

Immobile Capital and the Politics of Corruption: An Interview with Lawrence Markowitz

In April 2015 we had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Lawrence Markowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Economics at Rowan University. Dr. Markowitz has researched and published extensively on the politics of state failure and authoritarian rule in Central Asia and the former Soviet Union. He is the author of State Erosion: Unlootable Resources…

Russia, China and Their Relations with Central Asia: An Interview with Marlene Laruelle

In late March we had the chance to sit down with Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Central Asia Program at The George Washington University. Dr. Laruelle is also Research Professor of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Relations, Associate Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and the editor-in-chief of Central Asian Affairs. She has authored and…

Tajikistan: Security Concerns Lead to Crackdown on Islam

The Tajik parliament is currently mulling a bill that would prohibit all names of “Islamic origin.” The bill has not yet been passed but is seen as the latest in a series of steps taken by the government in an attempt to counter extremism in the country. The Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has explicitly instructed…

CASA-1000 Final Deal Signing Imminent

Sources close to the CASA-1000 negotiations indicate that the deal will finally be signed today or tomorrow in Istanbul. Officials from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are set to convene anew to finalize the terms of the much-discussed but frequently-delayed hydroelectric transmission project. According to these same sources, one two of the major factors still being…

CTSO Announces Readiness to Deploy Troops to Tajikistan

The Collective Security Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance comprised of six the six members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and which receives the majority of its financing from Russia. Recently, CTSO Secretary General and Russian general Nikolay Bordyuzha announced the organization’s ability…