Gen. Dostum who was accused of torture and rape of his former political rival, Ahmad Ishchi, left Afghanistan for Turkey on Friday night. Though Dostum’s office has said he had gone to Turkey for medical checkup, there are media reports that his departure from Afghanistan was because of pressures on him for his role in the Ishchi case. The case in which his bodyguards have also been accused besides him is still under investigation at the General Attorney’s Office (AGO). The AGO said a few days ago that investigations were still ongoing about the case.
The case of Dostum who was also accused of such human rights violations in the past was considered a challenge for the shaky government from the very beginning, and is a dark stain on the face of rule of law in the country. However, the only reason people hoped he would be brought to justice this time was the international community’s willingness to take the issue seriously.
Some reports suggest that President Ghani has twice talked with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to impel Gen. Dostum to leave Afghanistan for Turkey. Even it is said that he has refused to go to Turkey for the first time. It is very surprising, and at the same time, saddening that the president as the top authority of the country mediates the banishment of an individual accused of rape of a grey-bearded man instead of supporting the country’s legal and judicial institutions to enforce law on him. If this turns out to be right, it will pave the way for the intentional violation and mockery of the country’s applicable laws, which should be dealt with appropriately. The president should not forget that his covert deals will not remain undiscovered for lifetime. While Dostum’s departure from the country can relieve the president of international pressure, he can be held accountable by the justice-thirsty nation.