Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Afghanistan’s former president Ashraf Ghani has said he has no choice but to leave Kabul suddenly as the Taliban has closed down and denies an agreement is in the works for a peaceful takeover, which accounts for former Afghans and Americans amptenare betwis.

Ghani said in a BBC interview on Thursday that an adviser had only given him minutes to decide to leave the capital, Kabul. He also denied widespread accusations that he had left Afghanistan with millions of stolen money.

Ghani is sudden and secret departure on 15 August left the city motionless when the US and NATO forces were in the final stages of their chaotic withdrawal from the country after 20 years.

“On the morning of that day, I had no idea I was leaving by late afternoon,” Ghani told BBC radio.

His comments were inconsistent with other versions.

Former President Hamid Karzai said in an interview with The Associated Press news agency earlier this month that Ghani’s departure had disrupted the opportunity for government negotiators, including himself and Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the peace council, to reach an eleven-hour agreement with to reach the Taliban, who pledged to stay outside the capital.

After calling then-Defense Minister Bismillah Khan, interior minister and police chief and discovering that everyone had fled the capital, Karzai said he had invited the Taliban to Kabul “to protect the population so that the country , the city does not fall into. chaos and the unwanted elements that would probably plunder the country, plunder shops ”.

But Ghani said in a radio interview with British General Sir Nick Carter, former chief of defense, that he had fled “to prevent the destruction of Kabul”, claiming that two rival Taliban factions were attacking the city. and is ready to enter and a bitter struggle for control.

There was no evidence of the Taliban joining the rival factions to which Ghani referred.

Ghani’s flight meant that an orderly transfer of power was not possible, and allowed the Taliban to simply fill the security vacuum. Many Afghans now accuse Ghani, who is in the United Arab Emirates, of simply handing them over to the Taliban.

The Taliban, which in the days before the push swept to Kabul over much of the country while Afghan government forces melted away or surrendered, quickly taking control of the palace.

According to humanitarian aid workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they wanted to speak privately and who were there at the time, the Taliban moved to protect their camps.

Yet the Taliban takeover was greeted with widespread fear and a desire by many to flee their desperately poor homeland despite billions of international money over the 20 years the US-backed governments have been in power.

In the BBC interview, Ghani denied widespread accusations that he had left Afghanistan with a box of stolen money.

The US Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan, John Sopko, has been given the task of investigating these allegations.

Successive Afghan governments, as well as independent foreign and Afghan contractors, have been accused of widespread corruption, with dozens of reports by Sopko documenting the most heinous incidents.

Washington spent $ 146 billion on it reconstruction in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, which housed al-Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

Yet, even before the group returned in August, poverty levels in Afghanistan were at 54 percent.

Earlier this week, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an investigative reporting organization with 150 journalists in more than 30 countries, listed Ghani as among the world’s most corrupt leaders.

Belarus’s president Alexander Lukashenko has been named as the most corrupt, with Ghani, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz among the finalists for the title of most corrupt.

After Hamdullah Mohib, his national security adviser, said his personal protection forces were unable to defend him, Ghani said he decided to leave.

Mohib, who was “literally terrified”, was only given two minutes to decide whether to leave, Ghani said, insisting he was not sure where he would be taken, even after getting on the helicopter to get ready. to rise.

Ghani did not address the rapid and rapid collapse of the Afghan army in the weeks leading up to the Taliban takeover, but he blamed an agreement the United States signed with the Taliban in 2020 for the eventual collapse of his government.

That agreement set out conditions for the final withdrawal of the remaining U.S. and NATO forces that ended the longest-running U.S. war. It also provided for the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners, which Ghani said strengthened the group’s forces.

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