Ashraf Ghani former president of Afghanistan hastily fled to “avoid being hanged like Najibullah’ irking criticism from the Taliban.
He said in a statement, “I abruptly fled Afghanistan to avoid being hanged like Najibullah.” People were wondering about the mysterious disappearance of the former president on Sunday, and just recently, three days later the United Arab Emirates proclaimed that he and his family were in the Persian Gulf state “on humanitarian grounds.”
Abdul Haq Hamad, a member of the Taliban’s media team, told Afghanistan’s Tolo News. “Ashraf Ghani has betrayed his own motherland, team, and tribe, “Such treason will always be remembered.”
The Russians had said that he left Afghanistan with four cars and a helicopter full of cash, sparking anger at his apparent betrayal which Ashraf Ghani denied in a video message released on Wednesday. Right now in Afghanistan, he is a traitor and his central bank chief and key members of his administration have denounced him publicly. Efforts to reach him or his close aides were unsuccessful.
Ashraf Ghani also stated in the video, “I had to move out of Afghanistan to prevent Kabul from bloodshed and destruction,” saying that he had to flee with no belongings after security officials warned him that Taliban fighters wanted to execute them in the same as former president Mohammad Najibullah, whose body was hanged from a traffic light by Taliban fighters in 1996.
Ghani said, “They were going room-to-room to find me,” He added, “Their decision was this: Whatever happened 25 years ago was going to be repeated. The president of Afghanistan once again was going to be hanged in front of the people’s eyes, and such a shameful history would have once again been repeated.”
While the world is criticizing Ashraf Ghani, perhaps when anyone’s life is on a line, they will flee, it is the natural thing to do. It was extremely sad that he had to run away in exile for many are of the opinion that if anyone was supposed to know how to fix Afghanistan, it was him.
Before he became president in 2014, Ghani spent much of his life studying how to boost growth in poor nations. He was a Fulbright Scholar with a doctorate from Columbia University, he taught at some of America’s elite academic institutions before taking on jobs at the World Bank and United Nations. Later he co-wrote “Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World.”
Ghani’s sudden defeat reveals the more obvious failures of the US to help build a strong government in Afghanistan deeply connected to the people and power brokers that could take on the Taliban. Unfortunately, political experts comment that Ghani was seen as an outsider who needed a stateman’s talent to unite fighting factions, thus he became more isolated over time.
Although he was a Pashtun, the country’s dominant ethnic group, he was not really accepted by the people and Kabir Taneja, author of “The ISIS Peril: The World’s Most Feared Terror Group and its Shadow on South Asia” said, “Ghani was not accommodating of the realities of how Afghanistan works,” said and a fellow at Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi. “He either didn’t understand or couldn’t understand the warlords, who are essentially people representing ethnic fault lines.”
On August 4th Ghani said bravely in an event in Kabul, “I will not flee!” He reiterated, “I won’t seek safe haven and I will be at the service of people.”
However, as the Taliban stormed through Afghanistan, Ghani panicked. Just before he left he called for the Defense Ministry to set up telephone helplines for citizens to call.
After he escaped leaving the people, even his cabinet members were infuriated and called it ‘treason.”
Bismillah Mohammadi, Afghanistan’s acting defense minister, said on Twitter after Ghani fled, “They tied our hands behind our backs and sold off the country,” damn to Ghani and his team.”
The present scenario is that former president Karzai and other Afghan politicians are now leading discussions with the Taliban on setting up a new government.
One thing they agree on, Ashraf Ghani was a traitor and perhaps that will unite them.