Tasmagambetov's Warning

On November 10, 2020, Imangali Tasmagambetov, one of the most famous,  thoughtful and independent allies of the First President of Kazakhstan, drew attention to himself again. «The Nazarbayev product» had given a resonant interview to the Kazak edebiyaty newspaper.

The interview had received many comments from Kazakhstan’s numerous media-resources, bloggers and concerned citizens.

Since the interview was given and published in Kazakh, let us articulate its basic ideas by citing the «Exclusive» publication titled «Imangali Tasmagambetov: The Exodus of the Talented Youth Is a National Tragedy».

«Thanks to the modern technologies, the young generation of today is very open and tolerant. This is clear from the contemporary cultural formats, the spreading of the modern types of art. However, this does not mean that the young generation only sees life in glowing colours. Unfortunately, Kazakhstan is one of the three leaders in suicides among young people at the ages from 15 to 29. This is a disgrace to our nation. Because the exodus of the creative and artistic youth is a national tragedy. There is no other word for it», said Tasmagambetov.

«You, too, had witnessed the hardships of the 1990s. One can see the young generation’s intolerance to this kind of stress. Often, young people do not understand their fathers and mothers who were trying to get their lives back to normal by shouldering (the Chinese — KazTAG) checkered bags. Undoubtedly, a lot of young people are interested in science albeit they are not ready to devote their lives to this sphere and do it professionally. Because (in science — KazTAG), salaries and prestige are low. And this is not the young people’s problem, this is the state’s problem», believes the politician. 

A hungry person may eat up a storm but, if this person has no spiritual wealth, no patriotism, he shall remain empty inside, believes the former Prime Minister.

«This is exactly where the threat lies. Those who did not accomplish a feat in their 20s, will not defeat the enemy in their 30s and will not be able to seize a fortress in their 40s. This is exactly what we do not realise. Therefore, we must not divide the young people into modern or non-modern; most importantly, we must trust them and, when the timing is right, guide them with a wise word», adds Tasmagambetov.

«As it turns out, spoken and written Kazakh is among the 600 languages that have already gained their momentum and is among the 200 languages that have the status of a national language. The potential of any language is measured by the richness of its vocabulary. The Kazakh language is the one of the richest ones among the Turkish languages. This is my answer to those who say that Kazakh is not a language of science and technology», says Tasmagambetov.

He has also recalled the fact that, in 2001, when Kazakhstan celebrated the 10th anniversary of the independence and when he was in charge of the state commission, he wrote letters to five regions requesting only one thing — «translate the entire document flow into Kazakh». 

«Twenty years have passed since then. As far as I know, apart from the Kyzylorda and the modern Turkestan regions, the rest has produced no results. And the document flow is not the only issue. As I’ve said, first of all, there has to be the will of the authorities. That’s the whole point. The language of power will become the language of the people», underscores Tasmagambetov».

One must give credit to Imangali Tasmagambetov who, in just a single interview, has stepped on the toes of many people in the Library and Akorda including the First President himself. At the same time, he has done so with quite a bit of finesse. However, everyone in Kazakhstan who is interested in politics and knows the biography of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s former first aide (then the Prime Minister, a minister, an akim and, finally, an ambassador) has probably appreciated the accuracy, firmness and imminence of the attack. 

As a consequence to this attack, the politically concerned citizens, first of all, the Kazakh-speaking and patriotically minded ones, have started talking that Mr. Tasmagambetov deserves much more than being pensioned off and situated far away from power and opportunities to realise his great ideas.

The article published by Novaya Gazeta — Kazakhstan titled „A Time to Gather Stones. Is the Kazakh Society Ready for Imangali Tasmagambetov’s Political Reincarnation?“ describes quite clearly what kind of hopes these Kazakh citizens have for the man.  

Since the material prepared by the editor-in-chief Amantay Dandygulov who, in his own words, used to work with Tasmagambetov is quite large and deserves to be read independently, let us only quote its most resonant passages.

«The existing situation bothers everyone — the people, Tokayev, Nazarbayev and his parasite environment. And the closer the Zero Hour gets, the clearer the people’s desires are and the more transparent the under-carpet fight for Post No. 1 is. From time to time, this fight breaks free generating all kinds of rumours«.

«Under these circumstances, many Kazakh citizens are asking themselves — where is Imangali Tasmagambetov now? Can it be that his all too successful diplomatic work in Moscow is going to become the last step in his political life and will not bring him any political dividends in Kazakhstan? Not too long ago, these questions did not bother the Kazakh society due to the omnipresent belief in the power and authority of the Elbasy. But today, when the air is filled with the emotional tiredness from the political stagnation, from the systemically declining level of life, from the same persons on the top of the political Olympus that want to change nothing, the desire to obtain a new proactive and energetic authorities, new economy and a cardinally new life is getting stronger every day.

«And it is too early to speak of him in the past tense. I am certain that he cannot stay silent watching the rapid impoverishing of his fellow citizens, the honing of the people under the burden of the everyday hardships. I also believe that Imangali Tasmagambetov is not going to simply enjoy his political pension, Rather, he will become a successful addition to the currently operating team. However, I’ve got a feeling that the people themselves will demand his comeback». 

According to our insiders, apart from the understandable wish of the 64-year-old politician and statesman who is used to being active and front stage to draw attention to himself and express his opinion in re sensitive issues, Tasmagambetov was driven by some quite earthly motives as well.  

We have already touched upon this sensitive topic in the publication titled «Tokayev’s Enemies and Allies».

«Still, another fact seems to be even more indicative. Our insiders say that, little-by-little, Kossym-Jomart Tokayev has been pushing the proper state authorities to search for compromising materials on Kazakhstan’s several well-known people. In particular, former Prime Minister and Akim of Almaty and Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov.

The thing is that, even though Tasmagambetov left state service in 2019, he has been and still is one of the unofficial leaders of the Western clan (and the Kazakh nationalists as well, albeit the latter are quite split at the moment). And he may very well play an unexpected yet crucial role if the Kazakh elite chooses to follow the Ukrainian or the Kyrgyz path. In other words, if it splits up and starts fighting for power. 

According to the insiders, they are mainly going to search for the compromising materials on Imangali Tasmagambetov at the Ministry of Defence and in his son-in-law Kenes Rakishev’s projects related to developing technologies and weapons for the Kazakh army».

Now then, according to the insiders, the secret service officials involved in the examining of the Ministry of Defence’ numerous contacts when Imangali Tasmagambetov was in charge of the agency (and his son-in-law Kenes Rakishev, together with his foreign partners, was launching the projects related to creating new weaponry for the Kazakh army) have achieved certain success. And now the events may start unfolding in quite a different fashion from what the ex-ambassador of Kazakhstan to Russia has desired.

It looks like by drawing the Kazakhs’ attention to himself in his Kazak edebiyaty resonant interview, Imangali Tasmagambetov was also trying to warn the Library and Akorda that he still remains a political figure that is capable of uniting and leading the protest-minded cisterns. Of course, it is not a guarantee that this is what’s going to happen, but the threat itself is quite real. Especially since, according to our assessments, the real fortune of Mr. Tasmagambetov and his family is much more substantial than people believe. Therefore, as far as money and followers are concerned, he shouldn’t have any problems. 


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