Former President Ashraf Ghani in a BBC broadcast on Thursday gave his account of events on August 15, the day that Kabul fell to the Taliban.
He defended his decision to flee the country on August 15, saying that he did it to prevent the destruction of Kabul.
He made the remarks in a conversation with Gen Sir Nick Carter, the Britain former Chief of the Defense Staff, who was guest-editing the Today program of BBC Radio 4 on Thursday.
The former Afghan president said that the Taliban had made no commitment to not enter Kabul. (This is true, this is what he said?)
“Two different factions of the Taliban were closing in from two different directions," Ghani explained. “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.”
According to Ghani, he had no idea that he was leaving Afghanistan until he was in the aircraft. Ghani said he had agreed to allow his national security adviser and family to leave the country, but he (Ghani) was waiting for a car to take him to the Defense Ministry. The car never came, Ghani said.
Ghani said the chief of presidential security came to Ghani to warn him that if he took a stand, “they will be killed."
“He did not give me more than two minutes," Ghani said. "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.”
Ghani has been criticized by many inside and outside Afghanistan for his rapid fleeing of the country, with many saying his departure was the primary cause for the current chaos in Afghanistan.
Ghani denied allegations that he had taken a large amount of money with him while leaving the country, and welcomed an international investigation into the allegations.
“I want to categorically state, I did not take any money out of the country," he said, adding: "My style of life is known to everyone. What would I do with money?"
He was also critical of the Trump administration's agreement with the “Taliban,” saying “instead of a peace process, we got a withdrawal process,” and that the US-Taliban deal of February 29, “erased us."
Ghani acknowledged mistakes were made, including "assuming that the patience of the international community would last."
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