NATO Mission Denies Reports German Troops Turned Away Afghan Official's Plane

NATO Mission Denies Reports German Troops Turned Away Afghan Official's Plane”

Aviation authorities reportedly refused to allow First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum's plane to land at Mazar-e-Sharif airport, in Balkh province, on Tuesday and instead directed it to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, a reliable source told TOLOnews.

A spokesman for the alliance Capt. William K. Salvin in a statement said "Afghan First Vice President Dostum's aircraft was not denied permission to land at Mazar-e-Sharif airport by German Forces".

Dostum left Afghanistan two months ago for Turkey, citing ill health as the reason. Dostum has been accused of kidnapping and ordering the sexual assault against his rival Ahmad Eshchi a year ago.

"It is not the business of the Resolute Support Mission to get involved in internal Afghan Government Affairs", Capt. Salvin added.

"The central government, against all the laws of Afghanistan and the world, against the fact that the president can not rule an ordinary citizen - let alone the vice president - a criminal until proven by a court, told the plane not to land", Raees Abdul Khaliq, a provincial council member who waited at the airport for Dostum's unsuccessful return, told the New York Times.

The general helped the United States overthrow the Taliban in 2001.

The acting USA ambassador to Kabul last week emphasized that the legal process underscores the Afghan state's effort to uphold the rule of law and combat impunity, and to send a signal to the world that no one is above the law in Afghanistan. He alleged that Dostum had ordered the detention and abuse. The warlord, who enjoys a strong following in northern Afghan regions, has rejected charges against him as politically motivated and an attempt to marginalize him.

Dostum traveled to Turkey in May, ostensibly for medical treatment, though his stay there was something closer to exile.

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