The Washington Post reported that Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, passed away on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, due to a stroke. He was 78 years old. The septuagenarian leader was hospitalized on Aug. 27, in the capital of Tashkent, following a brain hemorrhage. This was confirmed by his youngest daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, through an Instagram post, as reported by the Globe and Mail.
Exploring the life of the deceased Uzbekistan President Karimov reveals that he was counted among the most authoritarian political figures of the world, as reported by the Washington Post. Karimov ruled Uzbekistan for 27 years, after the nation seceded from the Soviet Union, in 1989, as reported by BBC News. His death has left a vacuum in political leadership with no apparent successor in sight. This has pushed Uzbekistan, a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, into a phase of precariousness with regard to the way ahead.
Delving deep inside the mind of the late Uzbekistan President Karimov unravels the following facts about him:
An Ambitious Leader
Karimov was an ambitious leader, who was orphaned by destiny and educated by choice. According to AlJazeera, the deceased chief of Uzbekistan spent his childhood in an orphanage in the ancient city of Samarkand, and completed his formal education in mechanical engineering and economics. He also fulfilled his political ambitions by struggling his way up through the Communist Party hierarchy to start governing his country almost three decades ago.
A Despot Synonymous With Brutality
The former Uzbekistan President was a despot and tyrannical ruler, with serious anger management issues, as reported by the Washington Post. His name was also synonymous with brutality, which he had a strong liking for. In 2005, following a coup, Karimov made his most repressive move. He ordered military troops to gun down countless demonstrators, most of whom were unarmed. In addition, his assassins reportedly boiled alive some of the rebels, while Karimov himself imprisoned thousands of his political rivals.
An Autocratic Ruler Who Strongly Disliked Any Dissent From Family, Friends, and Foes
The Globe and Mail called the deceased chief of Uzbekistan an autocratic ruler who had an equally strong dislike and intolerance toward any dissent. This is evident from his infamy for harshly crushing any disagreement with the ideas and policies of his government, toward which he exhibited increased intolerance during his regime, as reported by the Washington Post. Moreover, it hardly made a difference whether that dissent was coming from his family members, friends, or foes. For instance, according to The Globe and Mail, Karimov forcibly admitted his journalist nephew, Jamshid, to a mental asylum after the scribe penned a few articles against his uncle’s government and its office-bearers. Similarly, AlJazeera reported that the tyrannical politician had never been any kinder to his immediate family members. He always shared a strained relationship with them, not sparing them either. His eldest daughter Gulnara Karimova, a celebrity herself, is currently under house arrest. In 2014, her father used this reprimand because she was actively voicing criticism against her father, his government, and Uzbekistan security forces on Twitter. Karimova launched an online tirade on the microblogging website through a series of tweets. The tweets accused her younger sister and mother of practicing witchcraft and compared her father to the Russian dictator Joseph Stalin. She also heavily criticized the military fleet of her country for triggering a corrupt, deceitful, and treacherous campaign engineered at the behest of her father to fulfill his harbored presidential political dreams.
By Bashar Saajid
Edited by Jeanette Smith
The Washington Post: President Islam [sic] of Uzbekistan dies at age 78
BBC NEWS: Islam Karimov: Uzbekistan holds funeral for president
ALJAZEERA:Uzbekistan’s President Islam [sic] dies
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Uzbekistan’s president Islam Karimov dies after quarter-century in power
All Images Courtesy of Saeima’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License