Topic: Abdul Rashid Dostum

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Abdul Rashid Dostum ('Abd al-Raszhid Dostum or Dostam, also known as Heavy D, D-Diddy) (born 1954) 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. 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. Most recently he was a general and Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Afghan National Army a role often viewed as ceremonial. In early 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.

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.

Dostum was born in Khvajeh Do Kuh, Afghanistan. In 1970 he began to work in a state-owned gas refinery in Sheberghan, Jowzjan Province, participating in union politics. As the new government started to arm the staff of the workers in the oil and gas refineries. The reason for this was to create "groups for the defense of the revolution". Because of the new communist ideas entering Afghanistan in the 1970s, he enlisted himself in the army. At this time Dostum was on his basis of his military training in the Soviet Union. He returned to Afghanistan, getting a job in Ministry of State Security. His squadron, in response to increasing conflict, was deployed in the rural areas around Sheberghan, under the auspices of the Ministry of National Security.

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