"They told me - you have two minutes, otherwise we're all dead!"
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani tried to justify himself publicly after fleeing the country when the Taliban took over Kabul.Source: Jutarnji list
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said in an interview with the BBC that he had fled the country to prevent the destruction of Kabul. Ghani said that day, August 15, he had no idea that this would be his last day in Afghanistan, because Taliban fighters told him that same day that they would not enter Kabul. "But two hours later, the situation has changed," said Ghani, who is now in the United Arab Emirates.
"Two different factions of the Taliban were approaching from two different directions. The possibility of a mass conflict between them would destroy the city of five million and bring devastation to the people, the danger was huge," he said.
He also said he let his national security adviser and his wife leave Kabul and then waited for a car to take him to the defense ministry. "But the car never came. Instead, a terrified security chief came up to me and told me that everyone would be killed if I objected," the former Afghan President said.
"He didn't give me more than two minutes," Ghani added, then continued, "The instructions I received earlier were to prepare for departure for the city of Khost. And he then told me that Kost had fallen, as had Jalalabad."
"I didn't know where we were going. It was only when we took off that it became clear that we were leaving Afghanistan. So, it was really sudden," he claims.
Just to reiterate, after leaving Afghanistan at the time of the fall of Kabul, Ghani was publicly criticized, and there were reports that he flew away with suitcases full of money. Ghani denied the allegations in an interview with the BBC, saying that he welcomed the international investigation that was launched on that issue, because, as he points out, it will remove the stain from his name.
"I categorically claim that I did not take money out of the country," he said, adding: "My lifestyle is known to everyone. What would I do with money?"