Following Presidential Palace’s call from the Attorney General’s Office to finalize the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum’s assault case against Ahmad Eshchi aimed at clarifying his return to his office, a spokesman for Dostum said on Saturday that according to the Constitution, the position and authorities of the first vice president are clear and that and there is no need for further clarity in this respect.
Dostum’s spokesman Bashir Ahmad Tayanj said remarks to this effect simply showed ignorance in terms of the law.
Tayanj meanwhile welcomed the Presidential Palace’s move and emphasized that the accusations made by Ahmad Eshchi, the former governor of Jawzjan province against Dostum, should be cleared up.
“Talking on the position of him (Dostum) means unawareness of the law. They (people) have the right to express their demands and protests from the system in any way,” said Tayyanj.
Meanwhile, Simin Barekzai, an MP also said finalizing the Dostum-Eshchi case was extremely important given the current situation.
“The Afghan government must be serious in this respect, particularly about the vice presidency. Government should make clear the fate of the fragile situation,” said Barekzai.
Dostum has not attended cabinet meetings for a few months but his chair has been at the table – albeit empty. However, at the last cabinet meeting, Dostum’s chair had been removed.
The Presidential Palace said however that nothing should be read into this but it failed to give more details.
“The first vice president is practically away from decision making. You better know that there is no return when a case is under investigation and process for judicial issues,” said Mohammad Husain Fahim, an MP.
The tensions between the Presidential Palace and the first vice president increased last year after President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take serious steps to have the Eshchi case thoroughly investigated.
This came after Ahmad Eshchi last year laid complaints of having been abducted, tortured and sexually assaulted on Dostum’s orders.
Following the alleged incident, the First Lady Rula Ghani announced Dostum had been placed under house arrest.
Dostum subsequently left Afghanistan for Turkey on the pretext of seeking medical treatment. However, some sources said government forced him to leave the country.