Afghan VP Dostum exiled to Turkey

Kabul [Afghanistan], May 21 : Afghanistan's embattled Vice President, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum has left for Turkey, another long exile for the former warlord amid a criminal investigation into rape accusations leveled against him.

Ahmad Eshchi, former deputy head of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan, on Saturday rejected reports that the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum has left Afghanistan for Turkey for medical reasons and said that he "had been exiled to Turkey," Tolo News reported.

"Dostum has been exiled unofficially, due to a number of considerations by government aimed at preventing from challenges (in assessing Dostum case) as well as investigating his (Dostum's) case properly and ensuring justice in this respect," Eshchi said.

General Dostum, a powerful ethnic Uzbek warlord has been fighting for political survival for months following allegations that he raped and tortured a political rival.

After those accusations were made public, the government of Ashraf Ghani asked General Dostum to surrender for questioning.

As a part of a deal, Afghan government has begun to favour exile as a solution rather than openly moving against the vice president, who is still popular among his northern Uzbek constituency and has threatened violence in the past.

The human rights activists have been critical of consecutive governments reaching deals with General Dostum, after decades of accusations against him of war crimes and other brutality.

Source: ANI