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First VP urged to clear his name before returning to job

First VP urged to clear his name before returning to job

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Jul 23, 2018 - 09:23

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Afghans view First Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum’s return from exile in Turkey as an effective move, but want him to appear before the Attorney General Office (AGO) to clear his name.

On Sunday, the Uzbek strongman flew into Kabul from Ankara on a chartered plane. He was welcomed at a special ceremony at the Hamid Karzai International Airport after spending 14 months in Turkey.

He was welcomed by 2nd Vice-President, Mohammad Sarwar Danish, 2nd Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) Mohammad Mohaqiq and Atta Mohammad Noor, the former Balkh governor.

Fourteen months back, the Junbish-i-Islami Afghanistan leader quietly left Kabul for Turkey after he was accused of ordering the rape and torture of his political rival Ahmad Ishchi. Dostum had since been living in exile in Ankara.

His supporters staged widespread protests in northern provinces against the detention of Nizamuddin Qaisari, a close aide to Gen. Dostum, and demanded the return of the leader as well.

Mohammad Amin, a resident of Herat province, said the government should have allowed the vice-president to return to the country much earlier. But his homecoming is still a positive development that would help defuse tensions in the north and avert possible bloodshed, he believed.

“Being an Afghan, I strongly oppose the use of force against the government; every Afghan should behave responsibly and act in line with the constitution of the country,” he remarked.

Mohammad Anwar, hailing from Kandahar province, said so far it had not been explained to the masses on what conditions Dostum -- accused of committing heinous crimes -- had been allowed to return home.

If the veteran Uzbek leader has come home to stand trial, it would a good omen, he said. But if it is not the case, according to Anwar, it will erode public confidence in the government.

Mohammad Musa, an inhabitant of Kandahar’s Dand district, said; “I want the government to try criminals, however mighty they may be, and not let them move freely.”

He alleged Dostum and other criminals like him had violated the constitution, suppressed innocent people and challenged the write of the state. There must be wholehearted respect for the rule of law, he stressed.

Student Ali Faizi, from central Bamyan province, opined the presence of Dostum being the first VP and head of Junbish was necessary in the country. With his comeback, the northern movements will return to normal.

He hoped all jihadi leaders and political parties would work closely with the central administration for the sake of development of the country, rising above ethnic, tribal, linguistic and political prejudices.

Bahram, a resident of the Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, termed Dostum’s return in the current situation a crucial step towards ending protests in the north.

But Mohibullah, another resident of the same province, suggested that the first vice-president had to answer a litany of allegations against him before resuming his job. If Dostum did not do so, people would hardly trust in the current government, he argued.

Sadaqat, who comes from eastern Nangarhar province, said Dostum was facing criminal cases and his homecoming was based on a political deal. He urged the VP’s prosecution.

On the other hand, Laghman resident Zabihullah said: “If Dostum has been brought home for prosecution, the rest of criminals in the government should also stand trial.” According to him, the law should apply to all and sundry.

nh/pk/mud

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