Speaker of Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi on Monday expressed joy over the return of First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum, saying he hopes that his return to the country will have a positive impact on the security situation in the north and northeastern regions.
But Humayoun Humayoun, the first deputy speaker of parliament, said government tried hard to stop Dostum from returning, however, public pressure finally forced the leaders to agree to his return.
“It is a matter of shame for those who kept him in exile for one and a half years and then went to welcome him. The first vice president showed that he has his own place among the public and millions of people welcomed him (home),” said Humayoun.
Dostum returned to Afghanistan on Sunday after spending 13 months in Turkey.
Throughout this time Dostum was reported to be living in exile, however government leaders, and Dostum, have said in the past few days that he was in Turkey for medical treatment.
“We hope that with his return, he (Dostum) will play a constructive role in outlining Afghanistan’s political, security, economic and social programs at a juncture where Afghanistan is facing a crisis and the people are suffering because of it,” said Ibrahimi.
“It is hoped that his return has a positive impact on the security and stability of the country,” said MP Kamal Safai.
Some lawmakers meanwhile said that the case involving Nizamuddin Qaisari, the former police chief of Qaisar district and a close aide to Dostum, should not be politicized.
Qaisari was arrested by Special Forces in Faryab three weeks ago after allegedly insulting security officials.
The day after his arrest, hundreds of Qaisari supporters took to the streets of Faryab, and later in other northern cities, calling not only for the district police chief’s release but also for the return of Dostum.
Government meanwhile insisted it had not stopped Dostum from returning home.
But the first vice president’s aides reject these claims.
Lawmakers also criticized government on Monday over its failure to prevent Sunday’s suicide bombing at the main gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport minutes after Dostum had left the area.
The explosion left at least 14 people dead and more than 60 others wounded.
“There was joy and happiness at the Sedarat Palace (on Sunday); it was like nothing had happened in the country and no one had been martyred in Afghanistan; but the dead bodies of those martyred as a result of the explosion were lying on the ground (outside the airport),” said MP Ghulam Farooq Majroh, referring to the bombing.
The suicide bombing happened amid tight security outside the airport’s main gate just minutes after Dostum’s convoy drove out of the complex.
Dozens of supporters had gathered in the area to welcome Dostum home when the explosives were detonated.
Daesh has claimed responsibility for the incident.