(Belga) Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assured Thursday that his decision to flee Kabul on August 15 in front of the Taliban had been taken “in a few minutes” and that he did not know until his plane took off that he he was leaving his country.
On the morning of August 15, as the Taliban took control of the capital and his government collapsed, he had “no idea” that this would be his last day in Afghanistan, he said in his opening statement. interview since his departure, granted to the BBC. But in the afternoon, the security services of the presidential palace “had collapsed”, continued Mr. Ghani. “They weren’t able to protect me.” His national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, was “literally terrified”. “He didn’t give me more than two minutes” to leave, he said. With the cities of Khost in the southeast and Jalalabad in the east having fallen to the Islamists, “I didn’t know where we would go,” he added. “It wasn’t until take off that it was clear that we were leaving the country.” Mr. Ghani has lived in the United Arab Emirates since then. His flight was severely criticized by Afghans, who accused him of having abandoned them by taking significant funds in the process, which he once again denied on Thursday. He reiterated that his first concern had been to avoid street fighting in Kabul already overrun by refugees who had fled violence in the rest of Afghanistan. “I had to sacrifice myself to save Kabul and show the reality of the situation: a violent coup, not a political agreement.” And Mr. Ghani clarified that even if he had stayed in Afghanistan, he would not have changed the course of things. “The work of my life was destroyed, they trampled ‘my values, and they made me a scapegoat”, he said. Admitting that the Afghans had blamed him “with good reason”, he added: I completely understand their anger, because I share this anger “. (Belga)