First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum is set to return to Afghanistan from Turkey in the next week, a spokesman for the Islamic National Movement of Afghanistan, Bashir Ahmad Tayanj, said on Wednesday.
Tayanj said Dostum is still in Turkey.
This comes after aviation authorities reportedly refused to allow Dostum’s plane to land at Mazar-e-Sharif airport, in Balkh province, on Tuesday and instead directed it to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
According to a source, the plane diverted instead to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan.
The source said at the time that Dostum would “drive by car from Ashgabat to the country.” It was speculated that his likely destination would be Faryab province.
In response to Dostum’s return to Afghanistan, Tayanj said “there are no barriers for him [to return] and the Vice President does not need to ask any official permission.”
Last week, the Attorney General’s Office confirmed the case against Dostum had been handed over to court. Dostum has been accused of kidnapping and ordering the sexual assault of his rival Ahmad Eshchi last year.
Dostum left Afghanistan two months ago for Turkey, citing ill health as the reason.