Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani Defends His Decision to Escape, Says He Is a Scapegoat

Afghanistan’s former President

Ashraf Ghani

reported in his initially broadcast job interview given that fleeing Kabul that he escaped abroad because his safety detail experienced instructed him that it couldn’t protect him. He included that he also sought to stop the Afghan capital from starting to be a battleground among rival Taliban factions.

American officers, from President Biden down, as well as other leaders of the fallen Afghan republic, have pointed to Mr. Ghani’s flight on Aug. fifteen as the purpose the Afghan condition suddenly collapsed and diplomatic efforts for a peaceful changeover imploded.

Mr. Ghani broke a lot more than four months of silence in an job interview aired on Thursday by the British Broadcasting Corp. He was interviewed not by a workers BBC journalist but by Gen. Nick Carter, the a short while ago retired head of the British armed forces. Gen. Carter dealt thoroughly with Mr. Ghani all over his military job, which integrated a stint as deputy commander of U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. He was a visitor editor on the flagship BBC morning radio present.

In the job interview, Mr. Ghani blamed the U.S. for the collapse in Afghanistan, stating that his authorities was cut out of negotiations with the Taliban. “They erased us,” he reported. He included that he ought to have adopted the case in point of former President

Hamid Karzai

in refusing to cooperate so carefully with Washington.

“I dependable in our worldwide partnership,” reported Mr. Ghani, “instead of confronting continually like my predecessor.”

A avenue sector on Wednesday in Kabul, where financial pressures on Afghanistan are getting a toll.



Image:

mohd rasfan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Pictures

In the weeks just before the tumble of Kabul, Mr. Ghani vowed continuously that he was keen to die defending his place. In the BBC job interview, he reported that his safety group instructed him that if he took a stand, they would all be killed.

“On the morning of that day, I experienced no inkling that by late afternoon, I would be leaving,” Mr. Ghani reported. “I experienced to sacrifice myself in order to preserve Kabul.”

Mr. Ghani reported that even as he boarded a helicopter out of Kabul on Aug. fifteen, he considered he would fly to the eastern town of Khost, evidently unaware that it experienced already fallen to the Taliban. Khost was the base of an anti-Taliban safety force qualified by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. He went as an alternative to Uzbekistan and from there to the United Arab Emirates, where he stays. “I did not know where we would go,” reported Mr. Ghani.

At the time, two various factions of the Taliban were closing in on Kabul. Mr. Ghani reported he feared a “massive conflict” among them would demolish the city—which would have been a repeat of the civil war among the mujahedeen factions that fought about the Afghan capital in the early 1990s. There has been no open conflict among Taliban factions in the earlier four months.

Afghanistan, now fully less than the command of the Taliban, is struggling an financial meltdown, in aspect because Mr. Ghani’s departure scuttled strategies for a negotiated changeover of electrical power. The new Taliban administration has located by itself less than U.S. sanctions, with about $9 billion in Afghan central-bank belongings frozen. More than fifty percent the population is struggling with hunger, in accordance to the United Nations.

Taliban fighters patrolled in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in August after the group’s takeover.



Image:

stringer/Shutterstock

Mr. Ghani’s job interview unleashed a deluge of anger from Afghans on social media. Haroun Rahimi, previously a legislation professor at the now defunct American University of Afghanistan, named Mr. Ghani and his near aides “treasonous cowards.” Abdullah Khenjani, a former deputy minister, named the job interview an insult to the miseries of the Afghan people.

In the BBC job interview, Mr. Ghani blamed veteran American diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated the 2020 Doha arrangement with the Taliban, for the Afghan republic’s collapse. “Process-extensive, end result-intelligent, the accountability has to clearly rest” with Mr. Khalilzad’s group, he reported. “It became an American, not an Afghan, issue….My life’s operate has been destroyed, my values have been trampled on and I’ve been created a scapegoat.”

Mr. Ghani also dismissed as a Russian disinformation marketing campaign the allegations that he fled Afghanistan with hundreds of tens of millions of pounds. He reported he welcomed a probe by

John Sopko,

the U.S. exclusive inspector common for Afghanistan, into those accusations, stating he desired the U.N. or a personal investigator to conduct an inquiry.

“I would be delighted to have any variety of investigation, which includes getting a lie-detector take a look at,” reported Mr. Ghani, introducing that riches weren’t in retaining with his lifestyle, so “What would I do with the dollars?”

On the same BBC present, Mr. Khalilzad reported that culpability for the Taliban takeover was “first of all, a failure of the Afghan leadership,” with Mr. Ghani managing away and military leaders refusing to fight.

Mr. Khalilzad also reported that it is an accomplishment in its possess correct that the war in Afghanistan, which was resulting in hundreds of deaths every day, is now about. “I’m pleased that the killing fields of Afghanistan are no a lot more,” he reported.

Afghanistan Beneath Taliban Rule

Compose to Saeed Shah at [email protected]

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