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Abdul Rashid Dostum officially awarded rank of marshal – Jawzjan



(Last Updated On: October 25, 2022)

Abdul Rashid Dostum, the former vice president, has been officially awarded the rank of a marshal at a special ceremony held in Jawzjan province on Wednesday.

The promotion was a part of the political agreement inked between President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the Head of High Council for National Reconciliation.

Dostum is the third person in the history of Afghanistan to receive the title of Marshall – the highest official rank within the military – after Shah Wali Khan and Mohammad Qasim Fahim.

Who is Abdul Rashid Dostum? How, why did he become the third marshal of Afghanistan?

Abdul Rashid Dostum, the founder of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, is one of Afghanistan’s most controversial military and political figures and one of Uzbek’s most important leaders.

Dostum, who was a senior military man and ally of Dr. Najibullah, changed direction in the last years of Dr. Najibullah’s rule in early 1992 and began working with the Mujahidin. Before the fall of the Mujahidin government led by Burhanuddin Rabbani by the Taliban, Dostum fought against Rabbani. He even allied with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of the Islamic Party of Afghanistan.

At the peak of his power in 1997, he had partially established an independent administration in northern Afghanistan, even running all the affairs of these regions and even printing a separate currency in his name. He had built a strong front against the Taliban in the north. It was during these years that his fans called him “King Dostum”.

After the fall of the Taliban, Dostum ran as a candidate in the 2004 presidential election, finishing fourth with about 9 percent of the vote.

Hamid Karzai, during the first term of his presidency, appointed Dostum as the commander of the army headquarters, but this position was suspended after the claim of Akbarbay, the head of the Afghanistan Turks Council, who said he had been abducted and beaten Dostum. Karzai’s command was suspended, and Dostum went to Turkey.

In the 2014 elections, Mr. Dostum became the first deputy of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. During this time, Dostum led the northern wars against the Taliban. But after being accused of sexual misuse by Ahmad Ishchi, Mr. Dostum went home and then went into exile voluntarily in Turkey. During his four years as first vice president, he had dark relations with Ashraf Ghani and criticized him many times. He then returned to Kabul from Turkey in an anti-government political coalition. In the most recent presidential election, he supported Abdullah’s candidacy.

According to the political agreement between Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, awarding the rank of Marshal to Abdul Rashid Dostum as the third Marshal of Afghanistan was part of the demands of Abdullah’s team. The political agreement states that Abdul Rashid Dostum will be promoted to the highest military rank as Marshall by presidential decree and will also be a member of the Supreme Council of Government and the National Security Council.

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Afghan embassy in India suspends operations, diplomats from previous government leave



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The Afghan embassy in India has suspended all operations after the ambassador and other senior diplomats left the country for Europe and the United States where they gained asylum, Reuters reported citing three embassy officials said on Friday.

India does not recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and closed its own embassy in Kabul after the IEA took control in 2021, but New Delhi had allowed the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the Western-backed government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to issue visas and handle trade matters.

At least five Afghan diplomats have left India, the embassy officials said. The Indian government will now take over the diplomatic compound in a caretaker capacity, one of the Afghan officials said.

Asked about the matter, an Indian foreign ministry official in New Delhi said they were looking into the developments, without giving any details.

IEA officials have yet to make comment on the matter.

India is one of a dozen countries with a small mission in Kabul to facilitate trade, humanitarian aid and medical support. Bilateral trade in 2019-2020 reached $1.5 billion, but fell drastically after the IEA took office.

Earlier this month hundreds of Afghan college students living in India despite the expiry of their student visas staged a demonstration in New Delhi to urge the Indian government to extend their stay.

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Serious management of water resources underway: Acting Minister Mansoor



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Acting Minister of Water and Energy of Afghanistan Abdul Latif Mansoor has said that the Islamic Emirate has started serious management of water resources.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Mansoor said that due to the recent droughts, people of the country are facing a shortage of clean drinking water and to solve the problem, the ministry has started serious management of water resources.

Mansoor also pointed to the concern of some neighboring countries regarding the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate to manage the waters of Afghanistan, including over the Qosh Tepa Canal, saying that the concerned countries must share their concerns with the Islamic Emirate through bilateral talks.

The acting minister said that this year, 3 billion afghanis in development budget were allocated to the ministry, and most of the budget will be spent on unfinished projects of water dams.

Meanwhile, the Acting Minister of Water and Energy said that there is a capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts of electricity in the country and that the ministry has taken measures to attract more investments in the energy production sector so that Afghanistan can become self-sufficient in electricity production in the long term.

Mansoor says that in order to attract more investments in the energy production sector in the country, they are ready to cooperate with the private sector and will provide them with all facilities.

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No foreign prescription has solved Afghanistan’s problems, Muttaqi tells Moscow format meeting



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The meeting of “Moscow Format” with the presence of the delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and the representatives of the countries of the region started on Friday in the city of Kazan, Russia.

In the meeting, Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that no foreign prescription has solved Afghanistan’s problems in the past 45 years.

Muttaqi said that Afghanistan is ready to interact positively with every country based on common legitimate interests, added that: “We hope that all countries will use this opportunity considering their national interests.”

He added: “Now more than ever, the opportunity for the implementation of the North-South Trade Corridor has been provided. It should also be important for countries in the region to know how to protect their interests and take advantage of the opportunities.”

In the meeting, the representatives of the neighboring countries also talked about Afghanistan and asked the United States to lift the sanctions on Afghanistan.

The special representative of China said that in the last two years, the Afghan government has taken important steps in the security, economic and social areas.

He also said that the United States should lift the sanctions against the people of Afghanistan.

“The travel ban of some Afghan government leaders should be lifted and they should be given the opportunity to participate in regional and international meetings,” he added.

The special representative of Uzbekistan said that it is very good that Afghanistan will become part of the “North-South Corridor”.

He said: “Big projects should be implemented in Afghanistan, including the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri power transmission, and other projects in order to fully revive the national economy of Afghanistan.”

He also welcomed the return of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to Afghanistan.

According to him, Western countries present a negative image of Afghanistan.

“We continue our interaction with Afghanistan and we agree with China that the representative of Afghanistan must be present in such meetings,” he said.

Talat Beg, the special representative of Kyrgyzstan, said: “The current government of Afghanistan has good achievements such as keeping the value of the currency stable, controlling inflation and fighting corruption. Kyrgyzstan hopes for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. We want friendly relations with Afghanistan.”

Representatives of neighboring countries asked other countries to interact with Afghanistan.

The special representative of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said that they want interaction and cooperation with Afghanistan.

“We sent our ambassador to Afghanistan a week ago. We must be present in Afghanistan. This shows that we want interaction and cooperation with Afghanistan. We want a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” he said.

The special representative of India also said that they have maintained their assistance and relations with Afghanistan.

“We have invested about three billion dollars in Afghanistan and 35,000 students have entered Indian universities,” he said.

He also praised the Islamic Emirate’s fight against drugs and terrorism and added: “Our priority should be humanitarian aid.”

According to reports, representatives of ten countries, including China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, participated in the recent meeting of Moscow format, and representatives of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey participated as observer members.

The special representative of Russia for Afghanistan has said that there will be no one representing the United States at the Moscow format meeting.

Friday’s session is the fifth gathering of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. It was created in 2017 on the basis of a six-party consultation mechanism of special representatives of Russia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, China, and Pakistan.

Its first meeting was held on April 14, 2017 with the participation of deputy ministers and special representatives of 11 countries, including the Afghan side.

The main goal is to promote the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan and the early establishment of peace. The last, fourth meeting, was held in November 2022 in Moscow, without the participation of the Islamic Emirate.

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