Afghanistan’s former president mentioned he had no selection however to abruptly go away 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 mentioned in a BBC interview that aired Thursday that an adviser gave him simply minutes to resolve to desert the capital, Kabul. He additionally denied widespread accusations that he left Afghanistan with thousands and thousands in stolen cash.
Ghani’s sudden and secret departure on Aug. 15 left town rudderless as U.S. and NATO forces had been within the last 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 instructed BBC radio.
His remarks conflicted with different accounts.
Former AFghan president Hamid Karzai instructed 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 succeed in an Eleventh-hour settlement with the Taliban, who had dedicated to staying exterior the capital.
After calling the federal government defence minister Bismillah Khan, the inside minister and police chief and discovering all had fled the capital, Karzai mentioned he invited the Taliban into Kabul “to guard the inhabitants in order that the nation, town would not fall into chaos and the undesirable components who would in all probability loot the nation, loot outlets.”
However in his radio interview with British Gen. Sir Nick Carter, the previous chief of defence workers, Ghani mentioned he fled “to forestall the destruction of Kabul,” claiming two rival Taliban factions had been bearing down on town and had 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.
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, shortly 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 had 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 assist cash over the 20 years the U.S.-backed governments had been in energy.
President denies leaving with stolen cash
Within the BBC interview, Ghani denied widespread accusations that he left Afghanistan with a cache of stolen cash. The U.S. Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko has been tasked with investigating these allegations.
Successive Afghan governments, in addition to unbiased international 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 US on reconstruction in Afghanistan for the reason that overthrow in 2001 of the Taliban, who had harboured al-Qaeda and its chief, Osama bin Laden. But even earlier than the insurgents returned in August, the poverty stage in Afghanistan was at 54 per cent.
Earlier this week, the 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.
After being instructed by his nationwide safety adviser Hamdullah Mohib that his private safety power was not able to defending him, Ghani mentioned he determined to depart.
Mohib, who “was actually terrified,” gave him simply two minutes to resolve whether or not to depart, Ghani mentioned, insisting he was unsure the place he can be taken even after he was on the helicopter on the point of take off.
Ghani didn’t tackle the speedy and swift collapse of the Afghan army 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 warfare. It additionally supplied for the discharge of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, which Ghani mentioned strengthened the rebel power.