Ex President Ghani Defends Departure From Afghanistan

Afghan ex-president Ashraf Ghani defended his flight from Afghanistan to the BBC when the Taliban advanced there. According to Ghani, he has thus prevented bloodshed, although he says it was not a conscious choice to leave.


He also lashes out at the international community for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. When Ghani woke up on August 15, he said he had “no idea” that it would be his last day in Afghanistan. It wasn’t until he was on the plane that he realized he wouldn’t return.

According to the former president, the Taliban had promised that day not to enter Kabul. “But two hours later, that wasn’t the case,” he recalls. Instead, according to him, two different factions of the Taliban moved into Kabul, and the chance that the city would be destroyed was very high in his view.

Ghani, among others, had ordered his wife to leave Kabul that day. He himself waited for a car to take him to the Ministry of Defense, but it did not show, he told the BBC. So instead, the chief of security – who he says was “terrified” – told the president that if he rises against the Taliban “, everyone will be killed”.

“He gave me no more than two minutes,” said Ghani, who initially thought he would be taken by plane to the Afghan city of Khost. But there, too, the Taliban had already seized power. “I didn’t know where we were going. It wasn’t until we left that it became clear that we were leaving [from Afghanistan]. So that was very sudden.”

Ghani admits he made mistakes leading up to the fall of Kabul. One was that he trusted “in our international cooperation” and that the international community’s patience would not run out. “Instead of a peace process, we got a withdrawal process,” says Ghani, who believes he has been portrayed as a “scapegoat”.

Since the takeover of Kabul, Ghani has resided in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). His departure was incensed in his home country. Even his staunchest supporters condemned his decision to leave the country. Members of his government and other leaders openly attacked him.

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