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Pro-Qaisari protesters run riot, block major highway

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AT News Report-KABUL: Protestors, demanding the release of Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum’s aide Nizamuddin Qaisari, on Saturday blocked the Kabul-Balkh highway in northern Samangan province.

Last week, the army commandos in Maimana arrested Nizamuddin Qaisari who is a top commander of Vice-President Dostum in Faryab and transferred him to Kabul.

Similar protests have also been staged in Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul, Balkh and Takhar provinces. Wednesday’s demonstration in Faryab turned violent as the protestors torched the governor’s house and several other government buildings.

A high-level government delegation from Kabul arrived in Faryab the same day and met local tribal elders. After the meeting, the protests were called off until the situation is contained.

The meeting also decided that those who violated the decision would be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law.

However, hundreds of people in Samangan closed the Kabul-Balkh highway in the morning and demanded the release of Qaisari.

The protestors, carrying photos of the first VP, former Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor and Mohammad Mohaqiq, chanted long live Dostum and death to Ghani.

Abdul Aziz Noor, a protestor, said the Uzbek tribe had voted for President Ghani. Instead of work for the tribe’s welfare, the president arrested and insulted Uzbek elders, he said, demanding the immediate release of Qaisari and return of Gen. Dostum to the country.