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Presidential decree confers ‘Marshal’ rank on Dostum

AT News

KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani has granted the highest army rank of ‘Marshal’ to his former vice-president Abdul Rashid Dostum, according to people close to Dostum.

Enayat Farahmand, a close ally of Dostum, said Friday that they received the presidential decree on Thursday.

Ghani’s office is yet to comment on the decree.

The decree shared by Farahmand with the media reads that Ghani awarded the rank of marshal to Dostum in response to his efforts in resolving political deadlocks and contributing to stability in the country.

The decree, Farahmand said, was signed and issued on June 10.

Awarding marshal rank to Dostum was part of a political deal between Ghani and his rival-turned-partner Abdullah Abdullah that was signed in May this year, following bitter recriminations over last year’s presidential election.

Marshal is the highest military rank in Afghanistan and Dostum is the third person getting it after Marshal Shah Wali Khan and Qasim Fahim.

Dostum backed Ghani in 2014 presidential poll and became his first vice president but their relationship turned sour after allegations were levelled against Dostum for mistreating and abusing a tribal elder and his political rival, Amhad Ishchi. Dostum left for Turkey in a self-exile where he remained until July 2018.

Sources close to Dostum said that President Ghani did not want to agree with granting the rank to him; nevertheless, he accepted it.

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