Almost two months after receiving marshal rank, Abdul Rashid Dostum has yet to return to Kabul to start his work as a member of the National Security Council and as a member of the newly formed High Council of Government, which has raised questions among critics who say political rifts between government leaders have prevented Dostum from returning to the capital city.
The decree to promote Dostum to marshal was signed by the president on June 10, but the news broke on July 3. He received the rank at a ceremony in his hometown in Jawzjan on July 15.
Dostum was promoted to marshal rank based on a political agreement signed between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation.
He is also a member of the National Security Council and the newly formed High Council of Government, according to the political agreement.
“When Mr. Dostum has been recognized as marshal of this county based on a presidential decree, he should take a specified position based on the law,” said Abdul Rahim, former MP.
Meanwhile, Hizb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar blamed President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah for being inattentive to the people’s problems and said the two leaders cannot work together.
“They cannot work together with each other. It is not possible that they tolerate each other. It is not possible if they don’t face the rift on power-sharing,” Hekmatyar told TOLOnews Tuesday.
The political agreement gives Abdullah a 50 percent share in the cabinet that is yet to be completed.
“Meritocracy is not considered. It is like a vortex that the nation is also stuck in–along with them,” said Tariq Farhadi, former presidential adviser.
The Presidential Palace, Abdullah’s office and Dostum’s close aides did not comment on the return of Dostum to Kabul, but Abdullah’s spokesman said the cabinet will be announced within the next two days.
“Discussions are close to being finalized. The remaining members of the cabinet, particularly those who are related to our movement, will be announced officially very soon,” said Fraidoon Khwazoon, Abdullah’s spokesman.
The allotted seats for representatives in the High Council for National Reconciliation have yet to be filled, and of the five deputies, only two have not been appointed. Critics say efforts should be expedited by the reconciliation council to move the peace process forward.