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Tomlinson Lecture


Craig Murray visited the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies on the 14th November 2013 to deliver the annual Tomlinson lecture on the subject of ‘Misunderstanding Central Asia- Deliberately’.  In a provocative and wide ranging talk he discussed his experiences as British Ambassador to Uzbekistan and the human rights abuses of the Karimov regime.  Starting from a perspective that foreign policy should be governed both by morality and by law rather than a ‘naked pursuit of national interest’; he argued that ‘if something seems wrong, instinctively, then it generally is’.   Questioning the accuracy of the intelligence obtained under torture in Uzbekistan (and elsewhere) he argued that there are very few Islamic extremists in Uzbekistan and that the west has become over dependent on many central Asian regimes because of the ‘ten year occupation of Afghanistan’.  He concluded his talk by observing that central Asia has a ‘tremendous cultural heritage’ and that its ‘talented and interesting population’ has a great deal to contribute.  He called for the EU in particular to use trade policy to urge the governments of central Asia to promote development for their people, many of who are desperately poor and neglected.


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