President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a keynote speech to the deputies of the Majilis – the lower house of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The head of state summed up the consequences of Black January, when thousands of terrorists attacked the country, and set tasks aimed at the development of Kazakhstan after the country was on the brink of the abyss. According to experts, such tragic events should qualitatively transform Kazakhstan, bringing citizens and authorities to a new format of a social contract.
“The cohesion of society was methodically shaken”
In his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was not afraid to openly tell the regional elite the bitter truth about the tragic days of the new 2022. Here are the president’s key theses: a total terrorist war was unleashed against Kazakhstan, while the enemy showed extreme cruelty, and the attacks were prepared for many years by international professional terrorists. As a result, Kazakhstan could lose control first over Alma-Ata, and then over the rest of the country. The National Security Committee did not see a critical threat in the event of riots, and in a number of cities, the leaders of the KNB themselves handed over buildings without resistance, while weapons and secret documents were left at the facilities.
“The cohesion of our society was methodically shaken, including through protests, according to professionally designed scenarios,” Tokayev said. – The preparation of specific executors of radical measures was carried out secretly. The National Security Committee, as an authorized body, could not and did not want to give a clear assessment of this subversive work. Didn’t see a critical threat to national security. The organizers of the attack had only to find a reason that would have appeared in any case. The dissatisfaction of the population due to the increase in autogas prices was used as a tool.”
In this regard, the head of Kazakhstan set a priority task: to reform the law enforcement system, including foreign, domestic and international intelligence. Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev voiced the uncomfortable and therefore the most pressing questions that every Kazakh citizen asks the state today: “Why did the state “overslept” the presence of sleeping cells of militants and the activities of their command post? Why are there so many illegal weapons and special equipment on the territory of our country? Why was undercover work not carried out to identify and neutralize the adherents of terrorism?”
As a result, Tokayev announced the reorganization of the entire national security system. The reorganization includes seven complex tasks, among which are a complete restructuring of the activities of the intelligence community of Kazakhstan and a radical increase in the combat capability of the army.
“Our armed forces, law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, foreign intelligence must work together in the name of one goal: the most effective protection of our citizens, the constitutional order and sovereignty from threats of any nature and scale,” the president emphasized.
“A distorted understanding of life has formed”
The second part of Tokayev’s speech concerned the state of the regional elites. The President said that they “have developed a distorted understanding of people’s lives.”
“It should be recognized that the tragic events that took place were largely caused by serious socio-economic problems and the inefficient, or rather, the failed activities of some state bodies,” the president said. – Financial and oligarchic groups have become the key beneficiaries in the current economic situation. The existing oligopolies seriously limited the development of the free market and reduced the competitiveness of the country. The current system is focused mainly on serving large structures on the principle of “everything to friends, the rest – according to the law.”
Of the specific operational tasks, the head of state announced a five-year moratorium on raising the salaries of government members, akims (heads) of regions and deputies of the Majilis of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In addition, the President instructed to ensure strict monitoring and control of all transactions and persons unreasonably withdrawing funds from the country (after the introduction of the state of emergency, suspicious movements were already recorded on the accounts of individuals from the financial and industrial groups of Kazakhstan).
Concluding his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the people of Kazakhstan: “During the recent tragic events, the vast majority of our fellow citizens showed patriotism, unity in the fight against extremists. I believe that the unity of the people, sincere faith in the ideas of sovereign development and independence of Kazakhstan are a powerful foundation for the consolidation of society and the progress of our country. Together we will overcome all difficulties. Together we will build a new Kazakhstan!”
“Today we woke up in a new Kazakhstan”
Commenting on the President’s speech for the KeyNews Telegram channel, MP Mazhilis Aydos Sarym admitted: “Today we woke up in the new Kazakhstan, in which there was a lot of things, but today everything has been reset.”
“The steps proposed by the president are programmatic, historical,” the deputy continued. “We need to work very hard on them. There is only one question today: to what extent the new government and then each akim in the field will be able to translate what the president has declared into reality. Reforms are when what you are doing is understandable and supported by the society, and the society itself is involved in this. Only this triad will eventually build a new Kazakhstan. No oligopoly, no corruption. We have lost so many lives these days. Therefore, we must now move away from continuous negativism to the state itself, otherwise these lives were given in vain.
Speaking about building relations between the “new Kazakhstan” and Russia, the parliamentarian stressed: “Under any circumstances, Kazakhstan should build pragmatic and trusting relations with Russia that allow us to resolve any issues.” Aidos Sarym figuratively compared the border of Russia with Kazakhstan with the states on the other side of the Atlantic. “Take the USA. They have two neighbors: either Mexico or Canada. Let’s ask ourselves a question: what do the Russians want to see on the border in the face of Kazakhstan? A huge black hole, relatively speaking, Mexico with drug trafficking, illegal migrants, many kilometers of border fences, or Canada, that is, a developed positive state where we jointly build business and good neighborly relations? Obviously, bridges are better than fences,” Sarym concluded.
In turn, the German political scientist Alexander Rar expressed the opinion that if Kassym-Jomart Tokayev could consolidate his power, then political stability in Kazakhstan would be quickly restored. “Tokayev cannot stop halfway,” Rahr said. — I think that civil society needs to be strengthened in Kazakhstan. People in Kazakhstan want to take part in building their state. Especially within the medium business. All this can be done to ensure that there are no more political cataclysms and conflicts in society. And it seems to me that Kazakhstan will now choose the path of rapprochement with Russia, realizing that little depends on Europe and little can be expected.”
Deputy Director of the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies Sanat Kushkumbaev I am sure that Kazakhstan is already getting out of the political crisis, its acute stage is over. “Now it is important to focus on the agenda that will unite society. The political slogan is “Strength in Unity”. The president has shown strength by taking responsibility for overcoming the crisis, which Kazakhstan faced for the first time in 30 years. I think that in the near future we will also enter the trajectory of sustainable development in the economy. The shocks, of course, will affect the investment and other ratings, but in the near future Kazakhstan will recover from them and enter a stable vector of development,” the political scientist believes.
Recall that the decisive role of the President of Kazakhstan in resolving the crisis was emphasized at an extraordinary meeting of the leaders of the CSTO countries Vladimir Putin. “I would like to note the courage with which the President of Kazakhstan accepted this event, took responsibility for himself, on his own shoulders, led the implementation of all these events, consolidated society, law enforcement agencies, citizens of the country around him in order to repel terrorists from outside” – said the President of Russia.