28 september 2020

Central Asia news

National Security Service Olympics took place in Andijan

07.05.2007 09:53 msk

Ferghana.Ru news agency

Ferghana Valley Uzbekistan

Another Olympics took place in Andijan. Ferghana.Ru's most constant and dedicated readers, i.e. officials and servicemen of the National Security Service from three regions of the Ferghana Valley participated.

The event was solemnly opened in Soglom Avlod or Healthy Generation stadium where the relay-race followed. A mini-football tournament took place in the gym of the Andijan State Teacher-Training College of Foreign Languages. "Spectators were treated to a captivating tournament indeed," local media outlets reported. "The winners got diplomas and gifts."

The National Security Service owes its ability to organize Olympics like that to the state sovereignty. Back in the Soviet Union, regional directorates of the KGB were too small to provide whole teams for participation in tournaments of this sort. When Uzbekistan regained sovereignty, the regional directorate of the KGB numbered only 54 men.

It is certainly different these days. Every district directorate of the National Security Service in the Andijan, Ferghana, or Namangan regions is staffed much better than that. Premises of regional directorates are fenced off. Their busy offices are multistory buildings with whole mobs swarming outside - people summoned by detectives for some reason or other.

The authorities of Uzbekistan are convinced that they need all these bulky secret services because there are so many terrorists and extremists in the republic. Every believer is a potential Wahhabi or Hizb-ut-Takhrir activist. Every vendor dealing in imported goods is a potential smuggler or trespasser particularly if he or she brings goods from the Qorasuv market in the Osh district of Kyrgyzstan nearby.

The National Security Service is a state within the state of Uzbekistan. Every sector of the national economy has its own supervisor in the secret service. The National Security Service supervise agriculture and industry and even higher educational establishments. The faithful are ever in the focus of attention. Imams are appointed to mosques after a mandatory check-up and recruitment. Editors of newspapers, from respectable ones to ragtags, seek National Security Service's authorization for practically every piece they publish.

The National Security Service has so many men in the Ferghana Valley that every passer-by may turn out to be one. That is probably why they have the men to run track and play football.