Dostum Asks for Permission to Lead Fight against Taliban

Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum on Wednesday called on President Ashraf Ghani to grant him the permission to lead the fight against the Taliban, saying he will curb violence in the country and will repress those who will try to wage war.

Dostum said he is awaiting direction from the government, stating that he will prove that he is a real marshal by defeating the Taliban.

Dostum made the remarks in Qaramqol district in the northern province of Faryab on Wednesday.

“The nation should not worry,” Dostum said. “We are able to defeat the Taliban. The people are still there. Dostum is still there.”

He said there are about 5,000 to 6,000 fighters under his command who will give a decisive response to the Taliban if granted permission for leading the fight against the group.

“We are fully prepared to defeat the Taliban,” said Dostum. “We are awaiting the decision of the high-ranking authorities. I am the marshal of Afghanistan. Here, I want to prove it whether this was a gift, or it is what I deserve.”

Dostum also criticized the government’s policy against the Taliban and said Afghans cannot afford further violence.

He said Afghans are tired of sending condolence messages to each other and now it is the time to “terminate the Taliban’s war machine.”

“Condolence, condolence and condolence. Enough is enough,” said added.

Marshal Dostum said he strongly supports the ongoing peace efforts in Doha but said that the Taliban’s continued violence indicates that the group has no will for peace.

He said that casualties among Afghan forces are high and that now it is the time to review the war strategy.

Dostum said that 500 security personnel have been killed in Taliban attacks in Jawzjan over the last year.