[World News] Upheaval in Kyrgyzstan Could Imperil Key U.S. Base
April 8, 2010 1 Comment
GB TIMES Report
Kirgizstan which is a neighboring country of Gilgit-Baltistan whereas both have centuries long historical, cultural and economic relationship. The people of Kirgizstan are well known as ‘Kirgiz’ in Gilgit-Baltistan. The relationship between the people of two regions was very strong in the pre-soviet invasion time and when in Gilgit-Baltistan was having independent princely states. After breakdown of USSR, Kirgiziya has become Kirgizstan as an independent country but faced with unstable political governance. Once more in our neighbouring country people are facing issue of the lake of good governance as we do also face the same situation in Gilgit-Baltistan.
MOSCOW — The bloody protests against the repressive rule of the president of Kyrgyzstan which forced him to flee the capital of Bishkek could pose a threat to a pivotal American military supply line into nearby Afghanistan.
Opposition politicians, speaking on state television after it was seized by protesters Wednesday, said they had taken control of the government after a day of violent clashes that left more than 40 people dead and more than 400 wounded. The instability called into question the fate of a critical American air base in the country.
Riot police officers fired rounds of live ammunition into angry crowds of demonstrators who gathered around government buildings to rally against what they termed the government’s brutality and corruption, as well as a recent decision to increase utility rates sharply. Witnesses said that the police seemed to panic, and that there was no sign of supervision. In several cases, demonstrators wrested their weapons away from them.
By early Thursday morning, opposition officials occupied many government buildings in Bishkek, and were demanding that the president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, sign a formal letter of resignation. Mr. Bakiyev has issued no public remarks since the protests began. An official at the Bishkek airport said Mr. Bakiyev was flying to Osh, a major city in the southern part of the country.
A coalition of opposition parties said a transition government would be headed by a former foreign minister, Roza Otunbayeva. “Power is now in the hands of the people’s government,” she said in a televised address on Wednesday evening.
Those same opposition leaders were angered last spring when Obama administration officials courted Mr. Bakiyev — who they admitted was an autocrat — in an ultimately successful attempt to retain rights to the military base, Manas, used to supply troops in Afghanistan. President Obama even sent him a letter of praise.
Russia had offered Mr. Bakiyev a sizable amount in new aid, which the United States interpreted as an effort to persuade him to close the base in order to limit the American military presence in Russia’s sphere of influence. After vowing to evict the Americans last year, Mr. Bakiyev reversed course once the administration agreed to pay much higher rent for the base.