Afghan Biographies

Dostum, Abdul Rashid


Name Dostum, Abdul Rashid
Ethnic backgr. Uzbek
Date of birth 1959
Function/Grade First Vice President of Afghanistan
History and Biodata

2. Former Functions:
Commander 53rd Division (1989)
General and Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army until 2008,
First Vice President (20140930)

3. Biodata:
Dostum_Abdul_RashidAbdul Rashid Dostum ('Abd al-Raszhid Dostum or Dostam, born 1954 in Khojah Dukoh is a former pro-Soviet fighter during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and is considered by many to be the leader of Afghanistan's Uzbek community. His residence is in Qaisar District in Faryab Province.(20150920) He joined the Afghan military in 1978, fighting with the Soviets and against the mujahideen throughout the 1980s before switching sides and joining the mujahideen. Dostum would again switch sides and has become infamous for his switching of allegiances.

1991 he founded the political party “Junbesh” or NIMA (National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan) which was seen as a multi-ethnic party, but in fact was a Uzbek party.

In 2002 General Dostum - a Warlord - founded his own media network called AINA TV. Mohammad Yasin Khamosh, publication director of Aina TV, denied the TV worked in the interest of its owner, saying they broadcast programmes independently. He also rejected as baseless that the channel was working to fuel ethnic disputes, saying all their programmes were in line with the relevant law. He said they aired only a two-hour prgramme in Turkmen language daily.(20110126)

On May 20, 2003, General Dostum survived suicide bomber assassination attempt while at leaving the mosque for Eid Al-Adha.

Before the 2004 election, stories of “warlordism,” massacres and other malfeasance surface in the western press. In October of 2004, General Dostum ran for President and earned over 800 000 or 10% of the national vote. Mohaqiq, Dostum’s traditional Hazara political partner, received 935,000 or 11.7% created a 21% voting block.

He was appointed March 01, 2008 Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army a role often viewed as ceremonial. Later 2008 he was removed from his army role because of the Akbar Bai kidnapping incident.

Dostum spent a year living in exile in Turkey. In June 2009, Afghan President Hamid Karzai reappointed Dostum to his post to get his support for the presidential elections in 2009. In 2009 Dostum did not run as a candidate for election, but was asked by Karzai to support his bid for re-election. In an effort to incorporate the region and ethnic interests of the northern voters, Junbesh Party organized and delivered 45% of the two million accepted (‘clean’) votes in President Karzai’s victory.

Today (2011) General Dostum is involved in negotiations with hostile actors in the North on behalf of President Karzai and is supporting parliamentary elections on behalf of Junbesh candidates.

Dostum has a long-standing reputation for brutality that has caused international concern, human rights groups have accused his troops of human rights violations, charges which Dostum denies. Abdul Rashid Dostum – "I will never submit myself to a government that does not drink whiskey and listens to music". This is one of the most famous phrases uttered by Dostum, the Afghan warlord from Northern Afghanistan who, over the past 25 years has fought on all sides, sometimes losing but always somehow managing to retake power. A cruel and astute master of duplicity, he has been able to attract the support of the cut-throats of the Uzbek ethnic group to which he also belongs, through his use of the carrot of generosity and the stick of exemplary punishments. In the last war against the Talebans, with the support of Americans, Dostum conquered Mazar e Sharif. Human Rights Watch is listing him as a Human Rights Abuser.

Junbesh can count on 25/30 elected MPs in the Wolesi Jirga and is likely to pursue a rather homogenous political agenda. Dostum backs Karzai but will seek recompense in return for his support. Presently (2009) he lives "self exiled" in Turkey. Dostum was and is the overall leader of the Junbish party.

Gen Dostum in his capacity as the Chairman of Afghanistan’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff  has warned that he would resign from his job unless the Afghan Government changes its policies, adding that President Karzai has so far not kept his promises toward Junbish-e Milli Party in assigning Government key positions to its members.(20111024)

Dostum was accused of  undermining oil and gas explorations in the Amu River basin -- forcing the National Security Council  (NSC) to refer him to the AGO as traitor to the nation. Deputy AGO, Rahmatullah Nazari said that they had initiated investigations on the issue after receiving a letter from the NSC. On 20120610, the NSC urged the Ministry of Interior to deploy a 300-member security squad to protect oil and gas fields in the Amu River basin in northern Sar-i-Pul province.(20120613) Militia loyal to army chief of staff General Abdul Rashid Dostum were disrupting oil exploration by a Chinese state firm, underlining the challenges facing foreign investors in Afghanistan. Supporters of Dostum were demanding a share of the proceeds. State-owned CNPC and joint venture partner Watan Group, a diversified Afghan company, will explore for oil in three fields in the basin -- Kashkari, Bazarkhami and Zamarudsay -- which are estimated to hold about 87 million barrels of oil.

The Ministry of Defence, as a military laws implementer, sent a letter to General Abdul Rashid Dostum, who is the Military Supreme Commander’s chief of staff, and reminded him that, in accordance with the Constitution, being a high ranking military official cannot have political activities at the same time. The Ministry of Defence, in a letter asked him to choose between one of the two options: give up military position or political activities. (20120628)

Dostum’s office in a statement on 20120630 said the office of military supreme commander's chief of staff was superior over all ministries and security organs and the office did not belong to the defence ministry. The letter was a serious blunder on the part of defence ministry' the statement said. The statement quoted Dostum as saying he did not respond to the letter because it had no legal basis.

It is said the Afghan government imposed a travel ban on Ahmad Zia Masoud and Abdul Rashid Dostum, key members of National Front Party. (20120715)

It is said in case of civil war, Dostum will take Sheberghan.(20120720)
President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai introduced his First and Second Vice Presidents, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and Sarwar Danish, to the vice presidency office on Tuesday morning in Kabul.(20140930)

Concerns regarding the establishment of militia forces further heightened after reports emerged regarding an agreement reached between Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor, vice president Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and deputy CEO Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq.(20151124)

VP Abdul Rashid Dostum was out of office for serveral weeks due to differences with the leadership over what he alleged less inclusion of his community members. President Ghani issued a decree defining his deputies’ powers including on disarmament, counternarcotics, anti-bribery, youths and sports. Experts believe that the given powers are limited considering Dostum’s expectations.(20160203) Sources close to the senior official said that Dostum was not satisfied with his community members’ share in administration.(20160205)

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today received Abdul Rashid Dostum, the First Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, at the Al-Shatea' Palace. (20160203)

The United States has reportedly denied to issue a visa to the First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum to visit New York and Washington to discuss the situation of the country with the American officials, it has been reported.The step was reportedly taken for Gen. Dostum’s alleged involvement in the mass killing of the Taliban insurgents in late 2001 as he was fighting alongside Central Intelligence Agency operatives and Special Operations forces to oust the Taliban.(20160426)


Dostum, who is the leader of Uzbek community, demanded at least 10 ambassadors and the post of deputies for defense and interior ministers. According to him, power-sharing in government has led to lack of coordination among institutions potentially affecting security situation. Dostum’s remarks come as President Ashraf Ghani recently issued a decree to limit the power of appointing senior officials to his own. It is not the first time that Dostum complains about his share in government.He said: “We don’t have a single ambassador, what we have is only two governors.” Earlier this year (2016) , Dostum was widely out of office due to less inclusion of his community members in government.(20160627)

It was rumored that Afghanistan’s First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum suffered a minor injury during the Taliban ambush in northern Faryab province of the country.(20161016)

Relatives of Eng. Ahmad Eshchi, former governor of Jawzjan, have accused the First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum of assaulting the former governor during a Buzkashi match in the province on Friday Nov 25, 2016)

Abdul Rashid Dostum is married to a Popolazi woman. He has four sons and four daughters who live in Ankara, Turkey. He has a second wife who lives in Tashkent and Sheberghan. Two of his sons and two daughters were born from his first wife who passed away. Haji Bator Dostum and Yar Mohammad Dostum, are two sons of Haji Gen Abdorrashid Dostum.

Last Modified 2016-11-28
Established 2009-10-13