Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 148

At a policy meeting yesterday, Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov termed the situation in Tajikistan "alarming" and necessitating Russian troops to stop "waves of Islamic extremism." (Itar-Tass, July 29) This assessment, responsible in part for generating Russia’s military intervention in Tajikistan, does not seem to be supported by evidence from the field. Tajik insurgents are not known to be enforcing political Islam in areas they control. The opposition seeks power-sharing arrangements on a party, regional, and ethnic basis in the Dushanbe parliament and government. Earlier this month, United Tajik Opposition deputy chairman Akbar Turanjozoda said after meeting Primakov that he hoped he persuaded him that the UTO does not seek an Islamic state. Turanjozoda’s hope now seems to have been at least premature.

The Clan Factor.