The First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who has been in exile in Turkey for the past six months, said on Thursday that peace with the Taliban is impossible to attain without his participation in the process.
Dostum, who marked the birth anniversary ceremony of Amir Ali Sher Nawaee by phone, said all government leaders should make peace with each other before seeking peace with the Taliban.
Nawaee - also known as Nizām-al-Din ʿAlisher Herawi - was a Turkic poet, writer, politician, linguist, mystic, and painter who lived in Herat in the 15th century.
Dostum said he is closely following issues in Afghanistan from Turkey.
“We should make peace between each other first, if we want peace in Afghanistan… There are some issues which should be resolved,” he said.
Enayatullah, the head of Dostum’s office, said the international community and the people of Afghanistan want Dostum to return to the country but according to him, the president and a certain group are preventing this from happening.
“Unfortunately, some circles inside the ARG (Presidential Palace) are still showing resistance and no doubt their reasons are rooted in personnel hate and their personal interests,” he said.
The Presidential Palace would not comment on the return of Dostum.
“I will not respond to repeated questions because this question which is asked at every conference,” President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Shahussain Murtazawi said.
A university lecturer however said without a court order, the Afghan government cannot ban any citizens from leaving the country or returning home.
“I think it is against the law to prevent the travel or the return of any Afghan citizen without a court order, whether it involves a government (official) or an ordinary person,” Qasim Wahidi, a university lecturer said.
Asif Seddiqi, the second deputy speaker of Meshrano Jirga, the Upper House of Parliament, claimed that Dostum misused his authorities when he was in Afghanistan.
“The first vice president of Afghanistan himself has stood against the system, has warned the system… These issues are serious matters of concern,” he said.
Dostum left the country six months ago and went to Turkey, apparently for medical treatment. This was after he was charged with sexually abusing former Jawzjan governor and one of his former aides, Ahmad Eshchi.