A “special ceremony” is expected to be held in the northern province of Jawzjan to award marshal rank to former vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, his aides said, adding that President Ashraf Ghani has also been invited to attend the event.
On July 3, a decree of President Ghani promoting Dostum to marshal rank was leaked to the media. The decree was signed on June 10.
The promotion is part of the political agreement signed between President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on May 17.
Abdullah Qarloq, the deputy head of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, also called Junbish-e-Milli, said that Dr. Abdullah, leaders of parties, members of the parliament and representatives of a number of countries will attend the event that will be held in Jawzjan on Wednesday.
“After the end of the ceremony of awarding the marshal rank, Mr. Marshal will return to Kabul with a suitable opportunity,” Qarloq said.
The Presidential Palace was expected to hold a ceremony in Kabul to promote Dostum to marshal but the decree was not announced officially, instead a copy of it was leaked almost a month ago.
“This in fact is mocking the government. They should have not given the marshal rank, but now that the promotion has happened, everything has its own conditions to be applied,” said MP Khalid Assad.
Military analysts said marshal is the highest military rank and it should be awarded to Dostum by the president in a special ceremony in Kabul.
“The marshal rank is approved by the president who is commander in chief in a wonderful ceremony that is led by the Ministry of Defense and army generals are its participants,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former deputy minister of interior.
“Marshal is an extraordinary military rank that is bestowed by the president and its ceremony is held by the Presidential Palace,” said Iqbal Safi, an MP and member of the security committee of the Afghan parliament.
Lawyers said presidential decrees have the value of a law and that they should be made public officially.
“Not addressing the formalities is a type of disrespect to a presidential decree I think,” said Wahid Farzaee, a lawyer.