Ghani Indicates Dostum Could Return Soon


KABUL : President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday that the chances of First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum returning to Afghanistan was high.

Speaking at a press conference at the Presidential Palace. Ghani said: “General Dostum’s return is very possible. This issue has a legal aspect and the general attorney will investigate it.”

This comes after Turkish ambassador to Afghanistan Oguzhan Ertugrul on Saturday said at a gathering in Kabul that talks are ongoing regarding the return of Dostum.

Ertugrul made the remarks at a gathering at the Turkish embassy in Kabul and said he was closely following the recent demonstrations in the northern parts of the country adding that change will take place in this respect once Dostum returns to Afghanistan.

The ambassador did not however respond to a question by a reporter on whether Turkey wants Dostum to return to Afghanistan or not. Instead he said Turkey has continuously advocated for Dostum’s return.

“I do not feel it necessary to respond to the question about whether Turkey wants Dostum to return or not. Talks are ongoing in this regard and we hope progress will made in the near future,” said Ertugrul.

His remarks come soon after Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish left for Turkey where he held talks with Dostum. Danish is still in Turkey.

In the meantime, supporters of the Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan, Dostum’s party, have been protesting continuously over the past two weeks in the north and north eastern parts of the country over the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, one of his close aides and police chief of Qaisar district in Faryab.

Meanwhile Ghani on Sunday also blasted political parties for their calls to suspend electoral activities.

Ghani said Afghanistan’s constitution will be implemented regarding elections and no Loya Jirga will be called regarding Presidential elections.

Ghani also said that the elections cannot be determined by a single sector, but the Afghans as a whole need to determine the outcome of elections.

“Who are the political parties that speak on behalf of the nation and who elects them? When has the nation given them (political parties) the right to represent the nation? I am the president of the Afghan nation and I came to this through the votes of the Afghan nation,” Ghain said.

Ghani in turn called on political parties to support the election process.

Ghani also angrily asked where the parties’ plan was – even though they had 40 percent of the authority in their hands.

“Because I have patience, it does not mean that I’m afraid and it doesn’t mean that anyone can come along and say they have the right to run the country; are they (political parties) responsible for the tragedy? Are they responsible for the crisis? Or not? If they want to boycott the elections, then who are they? Once again I reiterate there is no alternative except for the nation to vote,” Ghani added.

This come after Afghanistan’s main political parties on Saturday claimed the current voter registration process was riddled with irregularities which will lead to a crisis in the country.

The remarks were made at a gathering in Kabul involving Jamiat-e-Islami, Hizb-e-Islami, Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, Mahaz-e-Milli party, Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan and a few other parties.

Members of the parties held discussions on issues related to the elections and then issued a statement in which they called on government and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to suspend the voter registration process and all other electoral activities.

They called for changes to be brought to the electoral system, the suspension of the voter registration process, rolling out a biometric system for voter registration and declaring each province a single constituency.

Speaking at the press conference Ghani said that the NATO conference had been a great success for the nation, and especially for the country’s security and defense forces.

“The NATO summit in Afghanistan, especially for the country’s military, was a good success. At the meeting, the delegates pledged to continue funding the military and praised government for its reforms and peace process efforts,” Ghani said.

Ghani said NATO also called on regional countries to support Afghanistan’s peace and economic initiates.

Ghani said all of the country’s security and defense forces are accountable to the law and to the people, and that it is necessary to act in accordance with Islamic l aw and values, the laws of the country, human rights values and human standards.

“For me, as the Chief of Defense of the Armed Forces, I do not accept any kind of behavior of the security and defense forces of the country that is in contravention of the principles and laws of the country,” Ghani said.

Ghani added: “I have directed the related bodies in connection with the pictures published from the detainees in Faryab Province as well as the casualties of civilians during the military operation in the provinces of Paktia and Nangarhar and to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the incidents as soon as possible and to submit their reports and suggestions to the Supreme Command.”

Ghani also said that illegal armed men are becoming a problem in the country. “Operations against illegal arm forces are being carried out at the request of the people,” Ghani said.

This come after the defense ministry said on Saturday that preliminary findings by the investigation team into the assault of Nizamuddin Qaisari’s bodyguards, about 12 days ago, shows that Commandos from the Afghan Special Forces Unit in Faryab were not involved in the incident.

According to the defense ministry, footage that went viral on social media of the reported assault clearly shows no Commandos were present.

Defense ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said there is no truth in allegations that the commandos were involved but that the ministry is investigating the incident.

Qaisari, police chief of Qaisar district in Faryab, was arrested earlier this month after being summoned to a meeting at the 209 Shaheen Military Corps in Faryab province. He was reportedly detained, along with about 20 of his bodyguards, after allegedly threatening and insulting government officials.

Reports at the time emerged that some of his bodyguards had also been badly assaulted. Qaisari was however immediately flown to Kabul where he is still being held.

In conclusion, Ghani said that there has been no national consensus on peace in over a decade, and that the initiatives of creating peace and a ceasefire was by the National Unity Government.

Ghani also said that NATO fully supported Afghanistan’s peace plan and ceasefire efforts.

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