Afghan Chief Executive Officer says his deputy’s praise for Afghan fighters in Syria does not reflect official policy.
This came days after the country’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Mohaqiq caused uproar with his praise for fighters including Afghans, who participated in Syria’s war.
“I thank all the warriors who cooperated in these wars either from Iraq and Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of the world who attended the wars,” Mohaqiq was quoted by the local Tolo TV as saying during a gathering in Tehran last week.
The ethnic Shia Hazara community leader has been vehemently criticized by common Afghans, officials and parliamentarians alike for dragging the war-torn country into yet another conflict.
Abdullah Abbdullah, chief executive officer of the National Unity Government (NUG), said that the latest remarks by his deputy do not reflect the official policy.
“I am not a supporter of Afghans fighting in wars in any part of the world,” Abdullah said, adding the Afghan government wants all its citizens to live peacefully.
The pro-Daesh rebels in Afghanistan have carried out multiple attacks on Shia Hazara community mosques in Afghanistan of late, killings scores of people.
Last month, the Human Rights Watch accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of recruiting Afghan immigrant children living in Iran to fight in Syria for the regime forces.
Underlining the international law that considers recruiting children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities explicitly as a war crime, the watchdog has noted that Afghan children in Iran as young as 14 have fought in the Fatemiyoun division.
Fatemiyoun division is an exclusively Afghan armed group supported by Iran that fights alongside government forces in the Syrian conflict.
Iran hosts an estimated 3 million Afghans, many of whom have fled persecution and repeated bouts of armed conflict in Afghanistan. Only 950,000 have formal legal status in Iran as refugees.