In an interview with Uzbek’s Presidential daughter, Gulnara Karimova tells all about the smear campaign against her and her relationship with her father.
Q: Do you think your father is surrounded by a group that is providing him with false information, including such information about you?
GK: Yes. And disinformation about my public work seems like a very natural next step for this group, which is using an Internet site called Zamondosh. This was shown to my father as part of a carefully prepared plan to harm him and to destroy me. But what my father doesn’t know is that the website was established by a few people from the National Security Service: Yuriy Nikolaevich Savinkov, Igor Savinkov, Hayot and Djavdat Sharifhodjaev, and their business associates Ravshan Juraev and Timur Tillyaev—all on the foundation of mutually beneficial businesses with Hayot Sharifhodjaev of Abu Sahiy without any tax obligations to the state budget and a monthly turnover of around $20 million.
Q: How often do you speak with your father and what’s his role in what’s been going on for the past several months?
GK: My father and I have never fought by any regard. We haven’t had an argument as of late. Everything about this claim started with the BBC interview with my sister, in which she suddenly gave an explanation that she supposedly had to give because of concerns about her their family’s sufficiency and growth in wealth. I don’t follow this subject, but I read about one of them: Notenstein Private Bank apparently stopped the transfer of €400 million to the Grenadine Islands because of the absence of documentation for the transfer amount. My father doesn’t know about it. He was very upset when I merely mentioned the BBC interview and my sister’s answers, which in my opinion were juristically damaging to his name and policy.
Q: Are your sister and mother part of one group?
GK: I suppose they are. Goals for a group, as you called it, are the same, and nothing unites people better than a single aim. At the same time, it’s an ironic and serious question. It hurts to accept that for the ills of tomorrow people can betray those they are close to today. Things usually change with money and politics, or power. This is a sad fact, and many don’t go through with their actions when they are being challenged by politics or power. Consequently, pernicious habits like drugs really affect moods, thoughts, and the outcome of one’s goals in life—and this is the sad thing as well. Envy or jealousy always destroys unity, even in those from the same home.
Q: Are the reports in the media about your fights with your father, or that there was physical violence, false?
GK: Those allegations and gossips began right at the end of our famous cultural project Art Week Style in Uzbekistan. A few words about that moment and what it meant to me, so as not to lose myself.
When I first introduced Art Week Style at the Expo Center in 2006, very few reacted. Each year it’s getting bigger and more recognizable, on the surface it’s in the realm of Fashion Community and Cultural Events of the Year. Numerous famous people are visiting Style.uz each year and we have made it tradition for all of them to give a master class for youngsters.
In those days we usually had around 50, 000 visitors and around 100 international guests of honor. So, you can imagine how much pressure we had on our team when the people mentioned above started to act with support of my mother. She was on the phone with them every day sending envelops back and forth and sure enough we started to lose people from our radar. They were not too active during Art Week as we had a lot of different media representatives from all over the world. So, I had to look and act accordingly, as I never thought that anything would be that ugly. I guess I just didn’t want to believe it, even when I saw the idiotic story of Usman Khaknazarov. I’m sure it’s a fake name used by someone like the made-up Internet site Zamondosh, designed especially for that “earthquake” in our society. In that moment the easiest and cheapest way to destabilize the public was to make up the simplest and dumbest story that could be swallowed easily by wide segment of the population. And that’s what was done.
Q: What do you say to your critics who say you cannot complain about human rights now, when you have never criticized the regime before?
GK: Well, I got in the practice of doing things I believe in and talking about things that I witnessed or experienced. But the moment I was sure that this was the only right thing to do I did it in every possible way I could, and with passion. I strongly believe that everything in life happens for reason, and I suppose we should listen to the moment. The only thing that matters is to make an accurate judgment and conclusion of reality, and follow it with the right action. I’ve never tried to jump in front of the train, as we say, nor will I do that now: I am simply speaking out about what I see and what I can’t accept for a developed and educated society. (Notice I’m not using the word “democracy.”) You have to be human, and respect others’ humanity.