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Abdullah lambasts Ghani over release of Kabul Bank ex-CEO

AT News Report

KABUL: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday lashed out at President Ashraf Ghani over the release of Khalilullah Ferozi, ex-CEO of Kabul Bank convicted of multimillion-dollar fraud.

Meanwhile, Abdullah who is running for president in upcoming September polls, at his campaign rally here said the upcoming presidential election took precedence over the peace process and it will ensure a better future for the country.  “We have to pay attention to the election if peace does not come in the near future,” he said.

Abdullah also criticized the release of Najibullah Delawar Khan, a former adviser to senate speaker, who was jailed for over 70 days over links with terrorists and was released on bail last week.

Addressing his supporters at a campaign gathering, Abdullah suggested that such moves are part of electioneering. “Give answer Mr. President!” he said.

Abdullah said that Afghans should focus on holding a transparent and fair election, warning that failure to do so would result in formation of an intolerable government.

Ferozi was arrested in the scandal of Kabul Bank – which once was Afghanistan’s largest financial institution – in 2010 when the bank collapsed following embezzlement. The incident was a big blow to the Afghan government and brought under question the ability and willingness of the government to address widespread corruption.

The presidential spokesman, Sidiq Siddqi, had said that Ferozi was moved into house arrest after the judiciary system examined his health situation.

He said that the move was to help ensure that Ferozi stayed alive to repay the hundreds of millions of dollars. He rejected claims that the move was in exchange for campaign donation.

Afghanistan’s upcoming presidential election is scheduled to be held on 28th September while the US is pushing to conclude a peace with the Taliban by September.

This comes as the US and the Taliban negotiators wrapped up their eighth round of talks on August 12. The two sides are expected to sign a peace deal soon which will reportedly pave the ground for intra-Afghan negotiations and withdrawal foreign forces from Afghanistan.

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