Afghanistan’s former president , Ashraf Ghani has given an insight into his final days in office before the Taliban took over government in a stunning military sweep of the war-torn country.
According to Ghani, he had just few minutes to decide to flee in the hours before the Taliban took control of the capital in August.
According to the account of the Afghan and US officials, there was an agreement between the Taliban and Ghani to have a peaceful transfer of power but Ghani has disputed that account, saying he had no choice but to abruptly leave Kabul as the Taliban closed in.
Speaking in a BBC interview on Thursday, December 30, Ghani said that an adviser gave him just minutes to decide to abandon the capital, Kabul. He also denied widespread accusations that he left Afghanistan with millions in stolen money.
Ghani’s sudden and secret departure on August 15 left the city in state of confusion as US and NATO forces were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country after 20 years.
“On the morning of that day, I had no inkling that by late afternoon I would be leaving,” Ghani told BBC radio.
But Ghani in his radio interview with British General Sir Nick Carter, former chief of defence staff, said he fled “to prevent the destruction of Kabul”, claiming two rival Taliban factions were advancing on the city and were ready to enter a bitter battle for control