In Bed With Lola and Gulnara
By Craig Murray
December 06, 2011 ---- The Afghanistan conference in Bonn is a farce. There are no representatives of the Afghan resistance to the occupation, so it is not negotiating peace. Karzai’s corrupt and effete presidency, obtained by massive electoral fraud, expires in 2014. It is no coincidence that immediately after that the NATO troops will leave. Be guaranteed that none of the Karzai family will remain in Afghanistan, but will rather retire to Switzerland with the many billions of dollars they have looted from UK and US taxpayers’ funds, and made from the heroin trade.
Pakistan of course is not present at the conference. After approximately 6,000 Pakistanis were blown up by the USA on Pakistani soil, the next 25 were killed all at once and were all young soldiers, something that not even Pakistan’s complacent, corrupt government could gloss over. So for now all of NATO’s ground supplies are being shipped through Uzbekistan – the percentage of NATO supplies going that way was already increased to almost 50% and still rising fast as a matter of policy,
Lucky that Hillary has a new best friend in President Karimov
All of which explains why there has been not one single word of criticism of Uzbekistan’s human rights record by the co-alition government in the UK. There was not one single mention of human rights, of child slave labour, of political prisoners, of free elections, unbanning the opposition, of freedom of assembly, speech or religious belief, when the British government hosted official Uzbek parliamentary and trade delegations last month. There was not one word either in public or in private on any of these subjects.
The current British government loves Karimov. It has never issued even the mildest criticism. Boiling people alive and torturing political opponents to death is fine by them. We even deport him back extra dissidents to practice on. This British government succesfully pushed through the EU new preferential tariff access for Uzbek cotton picked by eight year old child slaves.
The love affair with the British establishment goes wider than just this government. New Labour’s chief financier, their own Lord Ashcroft, is a man named Andrew Rosenfeld. He has sold a house in Switzerland to Karimov’s daughter Lola for three times its market value. Such huge payments in excess of market value are, very often, a spot of money laundering with the extra money being in return for something else.
Money flows both way – as previously reported here, Karimov’s elder daughter Gulnara is getting a massive cut from the transport of all those NATO supplies through Uzbekistan.
But the latest bit of love-in with the Karimov family will astound you. William Hague is going to agree that Gulnara Karimova - the most hated person in Uzbekistan - can come and live in London as Uzbek Ambassador. The request for her to be accepted (“agrement” in diplomatic parlance, in French) – has been in for some time. The only obstacle remaining is to resolve how many of Gulnara’s seven bodyguards will be allowed to carry semi-automatic weapons on the streets of London.
Among our major political parties, the notion of morality appears virtually as dead as it is to the Karimov family.
Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. - www.craigmurray.org.