LONDON, 11 September 2013: Al Jazeera's English-language website has published an essay on the Pamiri minority in Tajikistan and its relationship with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Authored by veteran journalist Joshua Jucera , the essay, "The Aga Khan's Tightrope Walk in Tajikistan," cites Faisal Devji, a longtime contributor to Thesigers' quarterly bulletin, Current Intelligence. Kucera writes:
Faisal Devji, probably the world's most prominent Ismaili intellectual and director of the Asian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, criticised the Aga Khan Development Network's role in a much-discussed article published last fall. The organisation, Devji argued, is too dependent on the government for its presence in the country, and has created a depoliticised Pamiri elite that is unable to deal with the serious challenges facing their society.
"[T]his silence by the 'neutral' institutions of a foreign-funded civil society works only to prevent a resolution to the problem brought to light by the violence this summer," he wrote. He also quoted a letter written by a number of Pamiris to the Aga Khan complaining of the "neutral" approach taken by the AKDN in Khorog. "We are confused by their response and are at a loss - whom can we turn to in such a dire situation that affects the lives and securities of all jamati members?"
Faisal Devji's coverage of the AKDN and Tajikistan's Pamiri community was originally published in the Summer 2012 and Fall 2012 issues of Thesigers' quarterly bulletin. and has previously prompted media attention from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), which spoke to Devji and posted a video of the interview online.
To find out more:
RFE/RL, "Deep Dive: The Aga Khan in Tajikistan (Video Interview)," Transmission (6 September 2012).
- URL: http://youtu.be/d1qcJQt2aWM
RFE/RL, "Deep Dive: The Aga Khan in Tajikistan (Transcript)," Transmission (6 September 2012).
- URL: http://www.rferl.org/content/transmission-deep-dive-tajikistan-aga-khan/24700508.html
Faisal Devji, "Politics Dies in the Pamirs," Current Intelligence (Summer 2012).
- URL: http://www.currentintelligence.net/analysis/2012/8/24/politics-dies-in-the-pamirs.html
Faisal Devji, "The Dictatorship of Civil Society in Tajikistan," Current Intelligence (Fall 2012).
- URL: http://www.currentintelligence.net/analysis/2012/11/27/the-dictatorship-of-civil-society-in-tajikistan.html
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