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Rejection is universal
By Maks Maksudov
KHUDZHAND – The people of Khudzhand are in shock after the September 3 bombing of the headquarters of the Interior Ministry’s oblast anti-organised crime unit.
Now, those residents are openly displaying their disgust with terrorism and calling for co-operation with the authorities to combat it.
“We live near the police station, and we heard it and saw it with our own eyes,” said 43-year-old Mansura Ismoillo.
The situation in the city has changed since the attack, freelance journalist Maksat Usmanov said. “Rumours are constantly filling Khudzhand. Many have begun to fear the threat of terrorism. Everywhere – in the bazaars and the tea houses – people are discussing the terrorist attack.”
The thunderous explosion shook the whole neighbourhood, Ismoillo said. “We were living under a peaceful sky, but now we do not know what to think,” she said.
Ismoillo lost her husband during the 1992-1997 civil war. “When I received his death notice in 1995, I was beside myself,” she said. “I thought, ‘What do I do with two children in my care?’ And my husband was so young. He wasn’t even 30.”
Khudzhand residents willing to co-operate with officials
The explosion in Khudzhand and the weeks-long battle in the Rasht Valley frighten her, she said. “I am afraid that war will start again, and then my sons will be killed. All Tajik and Khudzhand citizens are against terrorism. We do not want death or blood.”
Usmanov said that he had talked with many Khudzhand residents and “they are expressing their readiness to co-operate with officials should their help be needed. People do not want another civil war.”
The Khudzhand terrorist attack “was done to destabilise the country and to undo all of the positive achievements Tajikistan had made recently,” First Secretary of the Sughd Oblast Committee of the Communist Party of Tajikistan Gufronjon Rustamov said.
“The enemies of the people wanted to demonstrate that not everything is good in the country with this subversive onslaught,” he said. “Every day on the television, we see terrorist attacks throughout the world and sort of got used to it. But I just couldn’t believe that it happened in Khudzhand.”
Everything possible needs to be done so that it never happens again, Sughd Oblast Social-Democratic Party Office head Dilbar Samadova said.
Khudzhand mood one of caution
“Whoever said that terrorism and extremism are Islam is severely mistaken,” Sughd Oblast Council of Ulema Chairman Hodzhi Husain Musozoda said. “Islam is peace, calm and harmony.”
“It’s been said that the person who committed the terrorist attack in Khudzhand was planning to go to heaven,” he continued. “Those who do good deeds go to heaven, but evil deeds never lead to heaven.”
“Every citizen should condemn terrorism and make his (or her) best effort to prevent it,” Musozoda said.
People have become more cautious, Husnitdin Nematov of the Sughd Oblast Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) said.
“Many locals have been calling us at the DIA, and many are also asking ... whether they should be worried. I answer that it’s always worth worrying, but the law enforcement agencies promise to guarantee civilian safety.” Many locals are willing to help law enforcement officials, Nematov said.
“These suicide bombings shook Khudzhand’s residents,” he said. “Before, we had heard about this only in television programmes on Arab countries and Afghanistan. So now it is important that we resist terrorism, and we are glad that the people are supporting us.”