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Working Paper - INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN, ISLAM KARIMOV

Peace, Harmony Bedrock of All Our Achievements
Auteur: 
Press service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Date de publication: 
12/7/2013

Honoring the memory of ancestors, keeping with their noble endeavors, expressing reverence and respect for the currently living war veterans who dedicated their lives to safeguarding the peace and enhancing the prosperity of the country – all these gracious qualities are characteristic to our people.

President Islam Karimov’s 25April 2013 Decree on “Encouraging the Participants of World War II” has come to be seen as yet another reflection of deference to the memory of our compatriots who fell in the war, of our fathers and grandfathers who fought courageously and returned from the battlefield, of our mothers who overcame heroically all the troubles of those grave times. In accordance with the decree, money rewards and holiday gifts were handed to participants and veterans of war in solemn circumstances across the nation, in cities and districts, villages and mahallas.

Issues related to the care of the contributors to the Second World War and providing them with healthcare and other social assistance have always been at the core of our society’s attention.

During the Soviet times, May 9 used to be celebrated as the Victory Day throughout the USSR with ostentatious pomposity. Military parades were held at red squares, while pioneers and Komsomol members along with workers and serfs used to march in rows greeted and looked down at by Soviet bosses standing at tribunes and pedestals. Unfortunately, this kind of scenes can be observed even today in some post-Soviet states.

At the initiative of the head of our nation, this date in Uzbekistan was announced 15 years ago as the Day of Memory and Honors, which cardinally transformed the essence and content of the holiday to be marked. In lieu of the previous, pretty abstract memorial facility called “Unknown Soldier”, a monument entitled “The Mourning Mother”, which brightly reveals the true humanistic essence of this date, was installed in the capital city as well as each regional and district centers across Uzbekistan.  

The image of the Mourning Mother is a vivid symbol of veneration toward the bright memory of the millions of people who fell victim in the Second World War. Her face epitomizes the infinite maternal love and a sorrow for the untimely deceased; it reminds the fates of thousands of mothers, whose hearts borne hope for the entire life that their sons are alive and they would definitely come back.

The pages of the highly symbolic Book of Memory installed at the Memory Square have gold inscribed names of all our compatriots who died in that terrible war. This underlines an acknowledgement of their courage and audacity, it urges to learn lessons from the tragedy of war, it is indicative of the fact that the memory of human in our country is eternal, his/her dignity is sacred.

On May 9, the Memory Square in the heart of Tashkent is crowded with war and labor veterans, members of government, senators and lower house lawmakers, military servicemen and women, representatives of general public gathering here amid a tender music in the air.

Early in the morning, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov steps into the square and lays wreath to the foot of the Mourning Mother monument under the sounds of military orchestra.

The President of Uzbekistan honored the memory of our fellow countrymen and women who sacrificed their lives in World War II.

“At these moments, on the Day of Memory and Honors, our nation widely celebrates the 68th anniversary of the Victory over fascism in the Second World War,” Islam Karimov said during a conversation with mass media representatives.

“These days, our compatriots accomplish their civic duty by paying tribute time and again to the memory of those who spared no life for the freedom of our Motherland and a clear sky over the country.”

The head of state said he feels immensely delighted to sincerely congratulate – from the bottom of his heart – all the participants of war on this great date. He then said he wished a sound health, long life to all the veterans who labored hard and selflessly on the rear of the adversary and who endured extremely tough conditions to make their own keen input into securing the Victory.

Today, the President said, by marking this remarkable date, we think of the fact how pricy that victory proved also to our people, how many victims and how much loss our nation suffered in that brutal war, how much pain and agony the thousands of orphans and the destitute had to endure. Thus, our people will never forget the grave consequences of that blood-spattered conflict. Notwithstanding the past 68 years since it ended, that tragedy is recalled by our nation with great mourning and grief.

While expounding on this, President Karimov suggested, it would be proper to cite some facts.

On the eve of the war, Uzbekistan’s populace was around 6.5 million, 1.5 million of which left for the battlefield. Given the approximately 500 thousand of our compatriots who fell in that war, while thousands more were lost without trace and the many who returned injured, it would hardly be tough to imagine the price our people had to pay in combating fascism.

This ought to never be forgotten.

In our period, we should extract due lessons from this and make relevant conclusions by recalling once again the heavy trials that our nation had to undergo during wartime.

The life itself has been confirming a truth time and again that any person and any people oblivious to their history and lacking any lessons from the past may be misled and repeat the previous errors.

This has been especially important in the current turbulent period when the world has been changing swiftly with the mounting confrontations and threats around us.

In this regard, Islam Karimov made a particular emphasis on the severe danger and the threat to peace and stability in our country – and Central Asia in general – posed by the war in Afghanistan ongoing for over thirty years.

Numerous international policymakers and analysts have defined the current developments in Afghanistan as extremely grave and explosive. In other words, the parties to the war say they are growing in conviction of the impossibility to address this protracted conflict with the help of military force, acknowledged today by many as a truism. 

The only path out of that crisis is political and, whatever the intricacy on the way to reach it, the achievement of mutual agreement of the confronting sides by means of talks. The establishment of a provisional government, arrangement of elections, movement toward tackling the complicated problems Afghanistan has faced – that is the very course this quagmire could be solved. To our great regret, some forces both within and without Afghanistan are currently opposing the political resolution of the conflict by pursuing their own interests.

Amid this terribly complicated and perilous situation, ISAF troops, composed largely by the militaries of the United States and European nations, are expected to launch withdrawal from the land of Afghanistan. This may lead to the intensification of the existing and the emergence of new confrontations, to the amplification of interethnic conflicts in Afghanistan.

It becomes clear that this kind of situation may inspire anxiety and swelling problems also on the territory of the countries adjacent to Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan’s Afghanistan policy has been open and clear-cut, the head of our state stressed.

Uzbekistan adheres to the course of non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, non-involvement in various military-political blocs directed against Afghanistan, arrangement of bonds and cooperation with Afghanistan on bilateral basis alone, support for the government elected by the people of Afghanistan.

Such an approach and stance is stipulated in our laws.

This policy is conditioned by the following principles:

- Noninvolvement in anyone’s “games”;

- Peaceful neighborliness;

- Protection of the peace and interests of our nation;

- Lessons learned from the recent past and the extremely intricate current period.

President Islam Karimov also drew attention to the factors affording us power and energy in carrying out this policy and furthering these goals.

The backbone of titanic successes admired throughout the world and achieved by Uzbekistan during its independent development is made up, first and foremost, of the peaceful and restful life, interethnic harmony, the atmosphere of common respect and coherence reigning in our country.

Indisputably, the peaceful and tranquil life and stability do not come for granted. For this to be achieved, we all should make every effort for a clear sky and display selflessness.

Second, we must be able to foresee the likelihood of any row and anxiety, to deeply comprehend their essence and always seek to avert them. Thus, we should persistently be vigilant, attentive and hence resist indifference and unresponsiveness.

Third, we would prefer that, learning lessons of the present and creating a robust basis for our future, every one of us, and primarily the youth, live with a sense that this country is our Motherland, and who would defend it from varying misfortunes and attacks, if not I, the head of our state pointed out.

Today, recalling once again the tough trials and grave days endured by our nation throughout its history, I feel convinced that our nation – for the good of its freedom, independence, repute and dignity – has always displayed courage and perseverance and has not bowed to anybody and is going not to do so in the future.

May every person living in this beautiful and blessed land of Uzbekistan be happy, and may peace and harmony, affluence and wellbeing reign in every family, Islam Karimov concluded.

The monument of the Mourning Mother was packed with flowers on that day. The Memory Square kept crowded to the very night with people who came to pay homage to the memory of our compatriots who sacrificed their lives for the peace and liberty of the Motherland.

 

 

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