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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. (Photo credit: Reuters)
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Kazakh President assures fair probe into 'tragic' January events

ANI | Updated: Jan 31, 2022 14:11 IST

Nur Sultan [Kazakhstan], January 31 (ANI): Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev described the recent violent unrest in the country as a planned attempt to seize power, with the involvement of professional militants trained abroad.
He emphasized a fair national investigation into what happened and said that the alleged mistreatment of the detained would be thoroughly checked.
Tokayev also emphasized that he would serve as president for a maximum of two terms, as per the Constitution of Kazakhstan, adding that there will be no changes to the legislation in this regard.
This and other statements were made in an interview with a Kazakh news channel, Khabar 24.
Commenting on who was responsible for the violence, Tokayev stated that the ongoing investigation should provide answers. He said: "I don't want to predict the outcome of the investigation, that would be wrong. Many of the militants, including their leaders, left Almaty, some fled into the countryside, others escaped across the border to the neighbouring countries."
In relation to the initial peaceful protests that began on January 2, he said: "As for peaceful demonstrations, of course, they took place. There was no use of force against the demonstrators.".
Commenting on his decision on January 7 to give the order to shoot at armed terrorists, he clarified that law enforcement agencies did not have a plan of action during the unrest and that it was necessary for the President to take responsibility, said the press release.
Tokayev explained that by the time he gave the order, peaceful protesters left the streets, and only bandits remained.
Commenting on the negative reaction that his order received in certain international circles, Tokayev said: "I am a career diplomat, I knew that there would be such a reaction, but the interests of the state and the security of citizens are of utmost importance for me. I was focusing on restoring order in the country, the reaction [abroad] was of least concern."

In this regard, the President stated that Kazakhstan does not seek international assistance to investigate the riots, as suggested by the European Parliament resolution adopted on January 20, which Tokayev described as "biased and premature".
At the same time, Kazakhstan will continue to develop its cooperation with all its international partners, including the United States and China, he said.
The President also informed that the issue of him taking over as head of the Security Council on January 5 was raised with the First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, adding that "there was no bargaining about the division of powers with Nazarbayev and no talk about privileges."
Commenting on claims that Kazakhstan owes Russia a favour for the temporary support that Kazakhstan received from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), President Tokayev categorically stated that there were no preconditions from the Kremlin and no discussions about Kazakhstan having to return any favours.
He clarified that in addition to Russian forces, the CSTO peacekeeping contingent also included military personnel from Belarus, Tajikistan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
Switching to the topic of political reforms in the country, the President noted that Kazakhstan needs to reform its parliamentary and party system. He stressed that there should be several strong parties in parliament capable of developing political leaders.
He said: "I am seriously deliberating reforming the parliamentary system in our country, and, of course, the party system."
He confirmed that Kazakhstan will continue to follow the course of political modernisation, describing it as "his principled position".
Regarding judicial reforms, the President noted that the status of the Supreme Judicial Council is being strengthened and a collegium for administrative cases is being created. Kazakhstan's law enforcement will also be substantially modernised as part of future reforms. (ANI)