DUSHANBE, May 27, 2014, Asia-Plus – Tajik experts consider that events taking place in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) are not accidental.

Leader of the Communist Party of Tajikistan (CPT) Shodi Shabdolov, who is also member of Tajikistan’s lower house (Majlisi Namoyandagon) of parliament, says that that the Tajik authorities must review their personnel and managerial policy towards Gorno Badakhshan.

“It is impossible to govern this region as the authorities govern Sughd, Khatlon or Rasht,” noted Shabdolov.  “The authorities must understand that it is inadmissible to use army against criminal elements.”

According to him, the military operation that was carried out by the government forces in Khorog in 2012 has not changed the situation in the region for the better; on contrary, it has increased people’s distrust towards the country’s government.

“Today, the authorities must think seriously over tackling socioeconomic problems facing residents of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region.  The majority of the able-bodied population of the region is currently in Russian seeking better employment opportunities.  Local youth don''t have anything to do,” CPT leader said.

Tajik political scientist Parviz Mullojonov notes that the recent incident in Khorog is the evidence of lack of trust between the GBAO population and the central authorities.

“The population, by the look of things, has not much trust in the authorities’ statements that the power-wielding structures are not going to requite for the events of July 2012,” said the expert.  “There are still rumors in Gorno Badakhshan that there are lists of supposed participants of the 2012 events.  Therefore, there is still nervous situation in the region and the majority of the local population, especially youth, see political motives in each action of the power-wielding structures, each arrest or detention of suspects.”

We will recall that several dozens of protesters in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region spent two nights in tents in the center of Khorog, taking their effort to convince the government to meet their demands.

The protesters were demanding an investigation into deadly clashes on May 21 and the resignations of the local governor, police chiefs, and prosecutor.

Two suspected drug traffickers were killed and one was wounded by police officers on May 21.  Besides, two persons were killed and at least seven people were wounded on the same day after police opened fire on a crowd that tried to storm a police station.  The fatalities occurred during a police offensive against suspected criminals and ensuing clashes between security forces and local residents upset with the police action.

Interior Minister Ramazon Rahim and the presidential adviser on national security, Sherali Khairulloyev, were involved in the talks with the protesters.

The wounded suspected drug trafficker died in the hospital Friday night (May 23), sparking the march on the building of the SCNS’s office for GBAO in Khorog.  At least one person was killed and two wounded.  Witnesses reported that one of the protesters threw a grenade at the building of the SCNS’s office and some protesters opened fire on the facility.

Protesters left the central square in Khorog Sunday (May 25) evening, after civil society activists and authorities agreed to investigate the May 21 deadly shooting followed by violent protests.

Khorog saw days of fighting in 2012 between government troops and rebels after President Emomali Rahmon vowed to punish local warlords for the killing of a security service general.