Removal of Dostum’s pictures sparks controversy in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The removal of first Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum’s portraits by unknown persons has created a tension between the VP’s supporters and government officials in northern Balkh province.
Some of the portraits installed at various parts of Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, were brought down on the new year’s night by unknown persons.
Junbish party’s youth wing leader Kanishka Turkistani told Pajhwok Afghan News that they had installed the VP’s pictures at different parts of the city on the occasion of New Year’s celebrations in coordination with Dostum’s office media section.
But two pictures of Dostum had been removed from Kamgar and Barakat squares on the new year’s night. “The pictures were removed by some foolish persons with the help of a pick-up vehicle.”
Turkistani said they had produced some credible evidence to security officials showing the involvement of some elements linked to the provincial government leadership in the incident.
The governor’s spokesman confirmed the removal of two pictures of Dostum, but rejected some claims of Turkistani. Munir Farhad agreed with Turkistani that some miscreants had removed the pictures of the VP, but said the governor’s house had no role in the incident.
He said when Governor Atta Mohammad Noor got to know about the incident, he expressed his sorrow and ordered early reinstallation of the pictures. Farhad said the first VP’s pictures had been now reinstalled with due respect.
On his Facebook page, Governor Atta Mohammad Noor wrote: “I believe removing or tearing apart pictures of the Vice-President is the handiwork of miscreants and elements seeking disturbance, but we will never allow anyone to create disturbance by resorting to removing or tearing pictures.”
Noor said Balkh was a province of cooperation and closeness where dozens of political parties, including Junbish, were operating. He said the Junbish leader’s pictures were installed at many parts of Mazar-i-Sharif.
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