In show of strength, Noor, Dostum loyalists stage rallies in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Hundreds supports of Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noorand Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum rallied in support of their leaders in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, on Tuesday.
Tensions flared up after the removal of Dostum’s portraits from billboards in the city by some unidentified persons. The portraits, however, were displayed again by government officials.
On his Facebook page, Noor wrote: “I believe removing or tearing apart pictures of the VP is the handiwork of miscreants and elements out to create a disturbance. But we will never allow anyone to create trouble by removing pictures.”
Noor called Balkh a province known for fostering cooperation and proximity where dozens of political parties, including Junbish Millie, were operating. He said the Junbish leader’s pictures could be seen in many parts of Mazar-i-Sharif.
Hundreds of the governor’s loyalists gathered in the Shaheed Zabihullah Square and chanted slogans in the support of Atta Mohammad Noor. They hoisted the national flag and portraits of Noor.
Ghausuddin, the organisor, told said Pajhwok Afghan News the rally had been arranged to demonstrate support to the governor for security. “We knew some people from other provinces came here and tried to create a disturbance. We will not allow anyone to destabilise the province.”
Separately, hundreds of people took to the streets at around 11:00am in support of the VP. They carried portraits of Dostum, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, Ahmad Shah Massoud and President Ashraf Ghani.
Kanishka Turkistani, head of Junbish’s youth wing, said the peaceful rally,which was taken out from the vice-president’s house, would terminate at Gamgar Square, where a giant portrait of Dostum was shredded recently.
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