Edited and Translated
The University of Minnesota
© Iraj Bashiri, 1996
Department of Slavic and Central Asian Languages and Literatures
The University of Minnesota
© Iraj Bashiri, 1996
Bukhara is a controversial issue. Bukhara must be given to us. We talked about Rishtan and the separate rural districts and said because the actions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan are not to our benefit, at the present we don't have the right to ask for it. For this reason we give up Rishtan.
Here are our conclusions. I would like very much to discuss the question that was brought up yesterday, but could not be discussed because of time and insufficient material. Today, they have brought the materials. These materials will show where the Tajiks are a majority so that the Uzbek representative will cease his ridiculous remarks. We do not intend to toy with this commission. After considering the economic and political factors, we must determine the boundaries today.
With regard to the Qashqa Dariya rural district, the regional committee informed me that the number of Tajiks there is high. The committee also agreed that this region should be given to us. These are the demands that we outlined yesterday.
Islamov: I would like to draw your attention to an important issue. Here are the materials that pertain to this case and on which we intend to base our discussions of the national and political ramifications of the land dispute between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. These materials pertain to the 1926 census. This census is authentic, is recognized by the Union, and has been used to settle our land disputes with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. It should not be slandered. It has been recognized by in the Central Bureau of Statistics and thus must be recognized by the administrators of Central Asia. According to our knowledge, based on a census taken by European students (not by Uzbeks), the number of Uzbeks in Qashqa Dariya is more than the number of Tajiks. I think we can consider this objectively. In addition, in Tajikistan, too, this census was taken under the supervision of Tajik officials, but it seems that one cannot argue with them. Having said this, I request that these materials be taken into consideration so that we can move to the substantial issues.
Makiv: I should say that Surkhan Dariya is the substantial issue here. There is no misunderstanding about the other areas. We have already talked about Khujand. There is no need to repeat all that. The Uzbeks themselves have accepted the need for its being separated. Therefore, we will discuss the boundaries that we outlined yesterday, i.e., the river which shares a border with Tajikistan. Let us also include Termez.
Islamov: I request that the 1926 census, without being slandered, be used as the basis for the discussions.
Hajibaev: I shall prove that the 1926 census is fallacious. All the administrations of Central Asia, including the Uzbeks themselves, have refuted it.
Islamov: Regarding Khujand, of course, if we put politics aside, there is no way of reaching a solution based on the nationality question alone. Let us use the region as an example. There the Tajiks form 58.9% of the population (12,746 men and women). The Uzbeks are 40.3% (8,725 men and women). The economy of this region is totally related to that of Ferghana and no one can dispute that. A similar situation obtains in Isfara and Kan-i Badam as well. In general. ... in both regions the Tajiks are in the majority (in Isfara, the Tajiks are 87%, the Uzbeks 9.9%). In Kan-i Badam, in the villages, 39% are Uzbek, in the cities 71%. The irrigation center is now in Khujand. The irrigation route (the cotton fields of Khujand) and the Bish-Ariq route are joined only to that. This water administering unit, however, is located in Uzbekistan. The water administration is simpler this way. Were two independent republics to come into being, water distribution would become a complex issue.
All the economic problems will be solved in Quqand. Sometime ago there was talk about uniting Isfara, Kan-i Badam, and Ferghana. The question of the Khujand rural district is essentially resolved. There is no need to dwell on that any more.
Now let us speak about Nau. If the Commission thinks that it should be separated from Khujand, then its national composition must be ascertained. The population of Nau is Uzbek and we should ignore the economic factor.
The Qurqanteppe question. The census shows the population to be mostly Turks.
The national composition of Qurqanteppe is as follows: 54.9% Uzbek; 11.9% Turkmen; 1.4% Kazakh; and 15.6% Tajik. This is the same data that Hajibaev used except he said that the Tajik population was 45,000. This must be clarified, especially under the current circumstances. If correct data is presented, we will accept.
In the Kulab region, especially in the south, the population is Uzbek (45%). Are we allowed to separate it as a minor autonomous national unit? This is a small problem. The rest is quite clear.
Hajibaev: We request the following be added for the record: For the following reason, the rural district of Khujand should not be included in the Commission's discussions. According to the resolutions of both the Uzbek and Tajik Soviet administrations, the Khujand rural district is given to Tajikistan. Comrade Islamov did not have the right to bring this issue to the floor. Without the mandate of the Central Executive Committee of Uzbekistan, he has no right to raise the issue. What we heard was Comrade Islamov's personal protest, not that of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Islamov: I request that all Party regulations be observed with respect to the problems of Tajikistan. Personalities should not be made an issue. I have the right to demand a clear execution of the law; as the representative of the Republic of Uzbekistan, I request that this point be entered into the record.
Hajibaev: I state officially that both the Central Committee of Uzbekistan and the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of Central Asia support my position. I also state, as a member of the Central Committee of Uzbekistan, that there has been no resolution on the Khujand rural district. For this reason, Comrade Islamov is not in a position to make any demands. I do not wish to respond to these protests. I want to say, however, that the Khujand district is to be divided; its economic products in Isfara, Kan-i Badam, and Shahi consist of orchards and its irrigation system is public. The Bish-Ariq region uses the water for only two months. Comrade Islamov says that the Khujand rural district is economically related to Ferghana as are Jalalabad and Uzgin. Yet the Soviet administration established Kyrgyzstan. I believe that his arguments cannot be used as a basis for discussion.
As far as I am concerned, the Khujand question is resolved. If the Central Committee of Uzbekistan so resolves, the Baisun region of Surkhan Dariya should be added. The population of Baisun is 35,253 of which 27,038 are Tajiks; and the population of Sar-i Asiya is 30,280 of which 18,555 are Tajiks. In Dihnau, the population is 51,861, with 32,710 Tajiks. Generally, Termez is a city of the Turkmens, Uzbeks, and Russians. We claim it, because it is the trade center for the majority of the Tajik people. But why do we, rather than the Uzbeks, want this Uzbek city? We demand it because it is the trade center of all the Tajik people.
In Termez, for instance, there is water transportation with navigation on the Panj and the Vakhsh. We have planned a Jelikul-Dushanbe highway. The government has allocated a great deal of money for the Termez-Dushanbe railroad. Next year the road from Qurqanteppe will be completed.
We should add that the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the guise of the Commissariat of the Peoples of Uzbekistan, did its best to postpone the building of the railroad, but we built it and now the Tajik workers are operating it. The road will reach Dushanbe by the first of September. The Samsana-Termez road is also finished.
In 1924, the government of Tajikistan used its own gold reserves to the tune of 500,000 sums for this purpose. The government of Uzbekistan still has not reimbursed that money. This proves that the government of Uzbekistan does not want Tajikistan to make progress.
In reality, Surkhan Dariya is a part of Eastern Bukhara. The Amir's summer quarters was in Dushanbe and, after the destruction of Gharategin, Surkhan Dariya became a real administrative unit. Officially, it was part of the Emirate of Bukhara, but economically, it was absolutely dependent of Ferghana. No one can dispute that.
In Isfara and Kan-i Badam, too, the number of the Tajiks is large (in Isfara there are 87% Tajik, 9.9 % Uzbeks; in Kan-i Badam region, the number of Uzbeks in the villages is 39%, in the cities, 71%.
With respect to the national policies of Uzbekistan and the Kurultai of the Central Committee of Uzbekistan, the Central Asian Bureau and the Commissariat of Economics reprimanded Uzbekistan for its treatment of the Tajiks. Uzbekistan did not provide the required means for the development of Tajikistan. Tajikistan remained as it was. We are raising the status of Tajikistan using our own energy.
I want to respond to the Qurqanteppe issue. According to the 1926 data, the inhabitants of this region are Uzbek. If we consult the 1926 record regarding Tajikistan, we will see that the Tajik population of Qurqanteppe is 1,275 and that the Uzbek population is 8,705.
But later (in 1927) the national composition is established: 18, 000 Uzbeks and 5,000 Tajiks. It is obvious to the comrades that the Republic of Tajikistan, under the guidance of the Party, has accomplished a great deal. At the present, the national composition (without the emigrants) is as follows: 30,624 Tajiks and 2,000 Uzbeks. This is the number released by the Central Bureau of Statistics. There is no law above that law.
I say this again that in education, economics, and service the Uzbeks of Tajikistan, compared to the Tajiks themselves, are treated three times better. The Party Kurultai and two plenums of the Central Asian Bureau of the Central Committee have regarded this act of Uzbekistan against the Tajiks a destruction of the policies of the Party.
At the same time, it should be stated that the separation of Tajikistan is not only a Union problem but an international one. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (b) of the USSR intended to revolutionize the workers of the East by giving Tajikistan its independence. For this very reason Bukhara is a part of Tajikistan. Its separation is politically unwise. In addition, Termez is inhabited by the Turkmens and the Russians. Similarly, Baisun and Sar-i Asiya, too, should be given to Tajikistan.
Now I want to say a few words about the materials themselves. Everyone knows that the Republic of Bukhara was not the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Emirate of Bukhara was an Iranian government with its capital at Bukhara. There is a census here that was taken by the military-geography division. This census shows the population of Bukhara to be 3,000,000. Of that 2,100,000 are Tajik and 750,000 Uzbek. These materials are not published by the Tajik government. They are published by the military division of the city of Samarqand. There are other nationalities in Bukhara that speak Tajiki. We must discuss these materials with sincerity. There are military-topographical data. These are objective materials prepared by the general staff of Russia. It is necessary that these materials be taken into consideration and that this territory ... be recognized as our territory.
The second problem related to Bukhara is political. From ancient times, Bukhara has been recognized as a sacred city, a cultural center of the Iranian race. You can find literature on Bukhara in Bombay, London, and the West. That literature proves that this is our territory and must be returned to us.
Another problem relates to Samarqand. These materials are signed by Krasnov who died in Turkmenistan. He is not our representative. As a representative of the Central Bureau of Statistics he is very familiar with Central Asia. In fact, from this point of view, he is unique.
We consider the rural district of Samarqand to be an integral part of Tajikistan. It is possible to visualize it that way. Samarqand is only 70 kilometers from our border and, according to the 1920 census, its population is 143,000 with the following national composition: 39,700 Tajiks and 15,480 Uzbeks. A number of Khujand volosts are included in the Samarqand rural district. According to the data presented above, the Samarqand rural district should be ours. It belongs to us both from the national and the historical points of view. Consider Tamerlane's book, a copy of which is in London and another copy in Bombay. In his personal diary, Tamerlane (Teymur-i Lang-R.M.) writes that historically Samarqand is the city of the Tajiks; Samarqand is an integral part of the Tajik peoples' heritage. Confessing his wrong actions against the Tajiks, he tells his heirs that his mistakes should be corrected and that Samarqand should remain a Tajik city.
Comrade Islamov tries to prove that the Tajiks are not administrators and that the Uzbeks are doing a good job of administration for them. But this is far from the truth. We must say with all due respect that the Republic of Uzbekistan did nothing to help the Tajiks. We ourselves, the Tajiks, with the assistance of the Party and the Union of Soviets took a large step forward. We reestablished the administration that was destroyed by the Basmachis; the Republic of Uzbekistan did not assist us in this matter. All this is proof that the Republic of Tajikistan can rule itself and the new territories. These regions should be given to us. We shall find the cadres there and the Republic of Tajikistan will become strong economically and politically. Here they can protest and say that due to large distances, we will not be able to administer these territories. I will provide some examples. Kazakhstan goes all over Russia and Siberia to administer its territory. Are we less than them? Who wants to prove that we will not be able to administer Samarqand and Bukhara? That is why we are persistent in our demand.
Islamov: He has outlined the problem for discussion. But why Samarqand and Bukhara? The discussion is about Surkhan Dariya. Why is Comrade Hajibaev rejecting these important data that have been already accepted. Compare the data with the original, i.e., with what the Tajiks are quarreling with us about. Our data, too, should be taken into account. The task was undertaken before the divisions. The data were compared and published by the Central Bureau of Statistics in 1925. They are clear. Hajibaev himself has signed them.
According to the 1926 census, Surkhan Dariya has a population of ... 1 Of this 15645.71,8 are Uzbek and 38340.18,0 are Tajik. 2 This shows that the majority of the population of Surkhan Dariya is Uzbek. The real Tajiks live in Kuhistan; in these regions only the Uzbeks live (this is clearly shown by the data). It is not possible to soil these data. Regarding this problem, Hajibaev has not proven any thing to the commission...
At the present, we are reconstructing 78% of the village administration. The five-year plan assists us and we are doing all this at a Union level, irrespective of Tajik or Uzbek. Uniting Surkhan Dariya with Tajikistan lacks both an economical and a national rationale. We express our protest vehemently and regard this to be our clear and proven right.
When discussing Samarqand and Bukhara yesterday, Comrade Hajibaev said that if Nau was turned over to them, they would not claim Kan-i Badam and would give up Surkhan Dariya.
The Bukhara problem is solved and, furthermore, it is not a serious problem for me. Both the regional committee and I clearly see this problem.
The 1926 census is a public record. The materials are accepted by the Union officials and ... it is a head count, i.e., they come to your house and you say whether you are a Russian, Uzbek, or Tajik and you sign your statement. You are educated people and throughout the process you saw how you were identified.
Now I want to talk about my credentials. Please state that you consider yourself a representative. You and I were chosen very recently to represent the Party.
Hajibaev: The Central Committee Secretary said that you were not given such a directive.
Islamov: I am the responsible representative of the Republic of Uzbekistan. As it is, the Samarqand and Bukhara problem stands resolved.
As for the Kulab and Qurqanteppe regions; this problem, I believe, can be solved easily if official documents were produced. In that case we will not claim them.
About Nau, I should say that the Tajik representatives are exaggerating; they are putting too much emphasis on Nau and Khujand. Like the Isfara and Kan-i Badam problem, which were related to Quqand, this problem must be solved economically. At the present we call it an unresolved issue to be reviewed in the future. That's all I have to say.
Makiv (director): I believe that we have heard enough from both sides of the argument. Yesterday we looked briefly at the issue to give everyone a chance to think about it so that we could resolve it today.
It seems, however, that there is no political or economical solution for this problem in sight. Of course, our Tajik comrades spoke a great deal about the past, but not much was said about the present so that we could resolve the problem of changing Tajikistan into an independent republic quickly. For this reason, you, the members of the Party, should have evaluated this situation subjectively. As the trusted representatives of your peoples, you should not have allowed any of this. We have been mandated to find a definite solution by identifying common grounds and by taking all the documents presented into consideration. In general, the question of Tajikistan's separation is not a present-day question. The problem is complex; it needs a full year to investigate its technical aspects before any more discussions. On the other hand, given the documents at hand, the question is academic. In this regard, we have Party directives. ... Hajibaev is being greedy. There was no earlier discussion of this issue. I think the issue should come to a resolution today. Time is not waiting for us. People don't have time; they have other things to attend to. The technical aspect of this question could have been solved using our materials and thoughts.
But, in spite of all the dara, it is very clear now that, this question must be solved by fiat. ... Comrade Islamov, you have not been given a directive to persist on every issue.
Here they speak about the history of the emergence of Bukhara. Of what use is history to us? What do we need Tamerlane for? We don't need these. We must pay attention to the dictates of life and the Party. Obviously, we need to form a technical committee. We need to put an economist on that Committee and solve the problem according to the 1926 data and what is in the minutes (stenograma). ... we are very far from the resolution of this problem. ...
Here are my final thoughts on this:
About Bukhara, comrades, it is not a problem that needs our attention. What good would Bukhara do for the Tajiks? I believe that Bukhara is the wrong thing for the Tajiks. Let us not spend our time on it.