President Ashraf Ghani is facing harsh criticism from the Uzbek-ethnic minorities for his ‘offensive’ remarks about Timūr Gurkānī – an emperor of the Timur Dynasty which ruled in parts of the central Asia from 1370 to 1507.

In his recent address to Afghan students about history, culture, and national identity, the president taunted Timur Gurkani by calling him ‘crippled’. His comments has met with denigration and anger among the Turk and Uzbek tribes of Afghanistan.

“Alauddin Jahanzos destroyed Afghanistan’s central irrigation system, Genghis Khan demolished the irrigation system of the northern provinces and the ‘lame’ Timur – Timur-e-Lang wiped-out the irrigation system for Sistan, Farah, and Helmand provinces,” Ghani said.

The Junbesh party led by General Abdul Rashid Dostum on Sunday called on the president to ‘apologize’ to Uzbek people for his remarks.

Some elders and leaders of Uzbeks criticized Ghani and acknowledged the President’s remarks ‘offensive’.

However, the Presidential Palace in a statement urged the political parties to not use people’s emotions to advance their political and electoral goals by spreading irritating and provocative messages. “Ashraf Ghani as the President of Afghanistan values the culture, history, identities of different ethnic groups living in Afghanistan and has made great efforts to restore the ethnic, historical, cultural and cultural identities,” the statement said.