The historical research was conducted till the contemporary time, ending at decolonization. Then I undertook an extensive study of primary sources which include Newspapers, academic journals, Television documentaries, news reels and Fiction Literature including poetry. I have also directed my research towards the emergence of militant/extremist Islam in its International context. The List of all the sources is attached. This research was a precursor to field appraisal visits to Zapatistan. A total of six visits were undertaken often under hostile conditions. During the course of these visits I sought audience and conducted interviews with President Marcos, The leader of Islamist Reform Party Mr. Wasih Mehtazberam, The General Secretary of Christian Nationalist Front; Mr. Corazine Constantine and I also managed to secure a brief but very productive tte--tte with Imam Nasir Fazlullah, the elusive Guerilla Leader, in his secret stronghold in Tien Shan Mountains, bordering People's Republic of China. Besides talking to these luminaries, I often held illuminating discussions with University Professors, Traders, Oilmen and the person on the street. It was difficult however to directly talk to women across the strict gender segregated divide, especially in Muslim quarters, but fortunately I had a lady colleague; Ms. Iona Wazir, who conducted these talks. Her report has been structured in this memo, however a separate report can be provided if required. I will now outline, albeit briefly the historical development of Zapatistan, so as to contextualize the present crisis.
Zapatistan is a landlocked country and shares its borders with Russia to the North and West, PRC to the East, Iran and Afghanistan to the South and South East respectively. It has key geopolitical and economic importance. The primary income generating activity is agriculture, in which 76% of the population is involved. The farm work is managed by small family units, both men and women are agricultural labourers. The Market and trade in agriculture is dominated and controlled by middlemen. A major portion of agriculture produce is exported through state owned and controlled 'Zapatistan Trading Corporation'. This dominance of middlemen and bureaucratic control of trade has been a major cause/contributor to rural poverty. There is a nascent textile and sugar industry but it is also state controlled, the minimum wage of industrial labour is less than 5$ per day, fomenting frequent trade union unrest and harsh reprisals by the regime. The country is rich in Minerals, primarily Oil and Natural Gas. Petrochemical Sale accounts for 90% of state earnings. The extraction and production of Oil is state controlled and is leased out to Shell and British Petroleum. The oil is shipped through a pipeline to Black Sea for The Shell International Refinery. The Muslim dominated Southern region is rich in oil; however the northern highlands also have sizeable oil deposits. The Oil revenues are controlled by the state and wealth has 'trickeled down' at least to the urban areas. The few major cities now reflect the oil boom and have been redesigned by best Urban Planning Firms in the world. The town squares are dominated by statues of the President and his family members.
Zapatistan was colonized by Imperial Russia in 1756 and gained its independence