December 30, 2021 – 15:41
The former Afghan president defended his decision to flee the country after the Taliban took control of the country in August this year, saying he did so to prevent the destruction of Kabul.
Ashraf Ghani in an interview with the BBC said that upon waking up on 15 August he knew this would be his last day in Afghanistan.
Ghani was heavily accused and criticized for his decision to leave the country while now taking place in the UAE.
Until the day began, Ghani said, the Taliban agreed not to enter Kabul, “but two hours later, it was no longer so,” he added.
“Two different Taliban factions were approaching from two directions,” Ghani explained. “The possibility of a massive conflict between them would destroy the city of 5 million people.”
He agreed that a number of people close to him should leave Kabul, including his wife. His security adviser also left while Ghani waited for a car to take him to the Ministry of Defense.
The car never came. Instead, his security adviser returned with the presidency’s security chief and told Ghani that “everyone would be killed” if they stayed.
“It did not give me more than two minutes,” said Ghani. “I did not know where we were going. Only when the plane took off did it become clear that we were leaving Afghanistan. “Everything was unexpected,” he concluded.
The Taliban takeover on August 15 marked the end of the foreign presence in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years. The Taliban occupied the first provincial capital on 6 August. Two weeks later, they arrived at the gates of Kabul.
After besieging the capital, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Hours later, the Taliban took control of the presidential palace. / Rel