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Video Game Upsets Tajik Parliamentarian


A screenshot from the video game Operation Flashpoint: Red River, which is set in Tajikistan

A screenshot from the video game Operation Flashpoint: Red River, which is set in Tajikistan

A Tajik lawmaker has called on the country's parliament to ban the sale of a video game depicting a fictional antiterrorism operation carried out by U.S. and Chinese troops on Tajik territory.

Davlatali Davlatzoda, a parliamentarian for the ruling People's Democratic Party, dubbed the video game a "sick fantasy" created by enemies of Tajikistan who want to see the country in constant conflict.

The video game, "Operation Flashpoint: Red River," was released earlier this year.

The game's scenario centers on U.S. marines entering Tajikistan from Afghanistan in 2013 to wipe out an imaginary terrorist group, the ETIM. They conduct military operations in villages in Tajikistan's western areas.

At the same time, eastern Tajikistan is being invaded by the Chinese People's Liberation Army, which seeks retaliation for ETIM's massacre of Chinese athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"It is a horrible scene to watch how our villages and towns are being destroyed by the Chinese' and the Americans' antiterrorist actions," the Tajik lawmaker told parliament on June 17.

Davlatzoda has his own ideas about the "agenda" that the video game's creators had for creating the scenario.

Noting that presidential elections are scheduled for 2013, Davlatzoda says he "deeply believes that certain forces cannot calmly stand by" and let them pass without interference.

-- Farangis Najibullah
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