Ex-Afghan president says had no alternative however to flee Kabul
Afghanistan’s former president stated he had no alternative however to abruptly depart Kabul because the Taliban closed in and denied an settlement was within the works for a peaceable takeover, disputing the accounts of former Afghan and U.S. officers.
Former President Ashraf Ghani stated in a BBC interview that aired Thursday that an adviser gave him simply minutes to determine to desert the capital, Kabul.
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He additionally denied widespread accusations that he left Afghanistan with thousands and thousands in stolen cash.
Ghani’s sudden and secret departure Aug. 15 left the town rudderless as U.S. and NATO forces have been within the closing levels of their chaotic withdrawal from the nation after 20 years.
“On the morning of that day, I had no inkling that by late afternoon I might be leaving,” Ghani advised BBC radio.
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His remarks conflicted with different accounts.
Former President Hamid Karzai advised The Related Press in an interview earlier this month that Ghani’s departure scuttled the chance for presidency negotiators, together with himself and peace council chairman Abdullah Abdullah, to achieve an Eleventh-hour settlement with the Taliban, who had dedicated to staying exterior the capital.
After calling the federal government protection minister Bismillah Khan, the inside minister and police chief and discovering all had fled the capital, Karzai stated he invited the Taliban into Kabul ” to guard the inhabitants in order that the nation, the town doesn’t fall into chaos and the undesirable parts who would most likely loot the nation, loot retailers.”
However Ghani in his radio interview with British Gen. Sir Nick Carter, former chief of protection employees, stated he fled “to stop the destruction of Kabul,” claiming two rival Taliban factions have been bearing down on the town and have been able to enter and wage a bitter battle for management. There was no proof upon the Taliban entry of the rival factions Ghani referred to.
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The insurgents, who within the days previous to the push into Kabul had swept over a lot of the nation as Afghan authorities forces melted away or surrendered, rapidly took management of the palace. In keeping with humanitarian assist employees, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they wished to talk privately and who have been there on the time, the Taliban moved to guard their compounds.
Nonetheless, the Taliban takeover was met with widespread worry and a deep longing by many to flee their desperately poor homeland regardless of billions of worldwide cash over the 20 years the U.S.-backed governments had been in energy.
Within the BBC interview, Ghani denied widespread accusations that he left Afghanistan with a cache of stolen cash. The U.S. Particular Inspector Common for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko has been tasked with investigating these allegations.
Successive Afghan governments, in addition to unbiased overseas and Afghan contractors, have been accused of widespread corruption, with dozens of studies by Sopko documenting essentially the most egregious incidents. Washington has spent $146 billion on reconstruction in Afghanistan for the reason that overthrow in 2001 of the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaida and its chief, Osama bin Laden. But even earlier than the insurgents returned in August, the poverty degree in Afghanistan was at 54%.
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Earlier this week, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Venture, an investigative reporting group with 150 journalists in additional than 30 international locations, listed Ghani among the many world’s most corrupt leaders. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko was named essentially the most corrupt, with Ghani, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz among the many finalists for the title of most corrupt.
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After being advised by his nationwide safety adviser Hamdullah Mohib that his private safety power was not able to defending him, Ghani stated he determined to depart. Mohib, who “was actually terrified,” gave him simply two minutes to determine whether or not to depart, Ghani stated, insisting he was undecided the place he could be taken even after he was on the helicopter on the brink of take off.
Ghani didn’t deal with the speedy and swift collapse of the Afghan navy within the weeks main as much as the Taliban takeover, however he did blame an settlement america had signed with the Taliban in 2020 for the eventual collapse of his authorities. That settlement laid out circumstances for the ultimate withdrawal of the remaining U.S. and NATO forces ending America’s longest conflict. It additionally supplied for the discharge of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, which Ghani stated strengthened the rebel power.