The First Vice-President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum on Monday spoke about disputes and tension between high-ranking officials within the National Unity Government (NUG).
Speaking from Jawzjan, where he is leading troops in clearance operations, Dostum told local tribal elders that the National Security Council (NSC) has in the past tried to curtail his anti-terrorist operations.
“I suggested [trips] many times to the National Security Council and many times I told them about [a possible] Kunduz collapse and I told them I have to go to Kunduz and try to prevent it from falling. But then finally I was in Turkey when Kunduz collapsed. Every time I suggested [action] to the National Security Council but was rejected,” said Dostum.
He went on to say: “They were afraid that Gen. Dostum will suppress one party and will strengthen Junbish party (led by himself). They do not understand my honesty,” Dostum added.
The NSC however did not want to comment on the allegations.
But Dostum’s remarks have raised concerns among political analysts who said disputes and tension among government officials is damaging and is an underlying flaw inside government.
“The collapse of Kunduz last year was one of those issues because they did not fight and did not allow the forces to push back and from Kabul they were ordered not to move forward and that was the reason Kunduz collapsed,” said Ghulam Hussain Nasiri, an MP.
“Whatever the president said in the National Assembly and if he is committed to his remarks, he must put his first deputy on duty,” Senator Abdullah Qarluq said.
Dostum also spoke out about circles within government that prevented his suggestions from being implemented – of creating a special unit to conduct anti-terrorist operations in the country. However, he did not say who these circles were.
“His remarks not only shows ideas differ but also shows disagreements and this harms government and will affect national unity and will affect military forces’ morale,” said Sayed Alim Hashimi, a political analyst.
These comments come amid Dostum’s visit to the northern parts of Afghanistan where he is leading troops in a massive military operation to clear insurgents. However residents have criticized his moves in the past week saying despite spending a vast amount of money, his efforts in the past have not brought lasting results.
Residents claim that previous operations by Dostum have dispersed insurgents but they return as soon as Dostum is back in Kabul.