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Ashraf Ghani gives reason for leaving Kabul as Taliban approached city on Aug 15
Ashraf Ghani
Image: Ashraf Ghani Instagram page

Ashraf Ghani gives reason for leaving Kabul as Taliban approached city on Aug 15

| @indiablooms | 31 Dec 2021, 03:45 pm

Kabul: Former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani said he decided to flee Afghanistan when Taliban approached Kabul as he wanted to prevent the destruction of the city.

The Taliban took control over the country after entering Kabul city on Aug 15.

Ashraf Ghani revealed that when he woke up on Aug 15 he had "no inkling" it would be his last day in Afghanistan.

It was only when his plane left Kabul that he realised he was going, Ghani said on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He was criticised for escaping Kabul.

He is reportedly in the United Arab Emirates now.

As the day started, Ghani recalled, Taliban fighters had agreed not to enter Kabul - "but two hours later, this was not the case".

"Two different factions of the Taliban were closing in from two different directions," Ghani told BBC.

"And the possibility of a massive conflict between them that would destroy the city of five million and bring havoc to the people was enormous," he said.

He agreed to let a number of those close to him leave Kabul - including his wife, who he said did so very reluctantly.

His national security advisor also left, and Ghani waited for a car to take him to the ministry of defence, the British media reported.

The car never came. Instead, the national security advisor returned, along with the "terrified" chief of presidential security, and told Ghani they would "all be killed" if he took a stand.

"He did not give me more than two minutes," Ghani told BBC. "My instructions had been to prepare for departure for [the city of] Khost. He told me that Khost had fallen and so had Jalalabad.

"I did not know where we will go. Only when we took off, it became clear that we were leaving [Afghanistan]. So this really was sudden."

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