Everyone — Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, possibly Timur himself — want a piece of the valley and have legitimate and highly contested claims to it.
Rakhmon is a despot who has done most of the damage he can do; Tajiks assume Bobonazarova could be as bad or worse, and without the bad stuff already done.
The net result is a perception that the law exists for the powerful, and in such places, what is left of civil society can never truly compete with the government and therefore grow.
Just as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict continues to serve as a drag on two countries’ potentially bright futures, so does the Sokh enclave hamper local and national development in Central Asia.
The Kremlin is concerned enough about increasing ties to the West to feel the need to pooh-pooh Ashton’s visit. One gets the impression that Putin doth protest too much.
All of these nations would benefit from a substantial dose of freedom. The peoples of Central Asia will flourish once they are able to take charge of their respective economic and political destinies.