Already embroiled in a public family feud and facing an unprecedented attack on her business empire, fresh trouble is enveloping Gulnara Karimova. The once-omnipotent daughter of Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov is becoming entangled in an investigation into the alleged kidnapping of one of her employees almost a year ago.
From the outside, it's easy to see Karimova’s troubles through the lens of a political succession struggle in Tashkent, in which a rival faction strives to weaken the president by taking down his daughter. But in the Uzbek capital, where cynicism seems to be the guiding principle of politics, some observers think Karimov may be engineering events, and that the public attacks against his daughter are being orchestrated to bolster his own political standing.
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Murat Sadykov is the pseudonym for a journalist specializing in Central Asian affairs.