Ashraf Ghani wasn't prepared for Taliban takeover, fled with only clothes he was wearing: Report

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Afghan former president Ashraf Ghani
Afghan former president Ashraf Ghani

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 21 (ANI): Ashraf Ghani, the ousted president of Afghanistan, was far from prepared for Taliban takeover and he fled on Sunday with only the clothes he was wearing, a former senior official of Afghanistan ousted government said.

Providing vivid details of the last weeks' events which led to the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, the former officials said that the advisors were stunned by the speed of the Taliban's advance on the capital of Kabul, reported CNN.

According to the report, a senior member of the Ghani administration met in Kabul with a prominent member of a group allied to both the Taliban and al Qaeda, who told him bluntly that the government must surrender.

"In the days leading up to the Taliban coming in Kabul, we had been working on a deal with the US to hand over peacefully to an inclusive government and for President Ghani to resign," he said.

"These talks were underway when the Taliban came into the city. The Taliban entering Kabul city from multiple points was interpreted by our intelligence as hostile advances," the senior official said.

"We had received intelligence for over a year that the President would be killed in the event of a takeover," the official added.

According to the official, Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh fled to Panjshir Valley on Sunday morning.

Many others fled the presidential compound "shortly after when there was gunfire outside the palace. People in the city were panicked and many security personnel abandoned their posts."

"At that point, our goal was to save the city and its citizens from fighting in the streets. This was maintained and the deal we had started negotiating (that) continues today in the hands of (former Afghan chief executive) Abdullah Abdullah and (former President Hamid) Karzai."

The official said that Ghani left in haste. "He went to Termez in Uzbekistan, where he spent one night and then from there to the UAE (United Arab Emirates). There was no money with him. He literally just had the clothes he was wearing."

The official's claims are in contrast to reports saying that Ghani left Kabul with millions of dollars in case.

Ghani too has rejected these claims, saying he left the country to avert bloodshed, and that he fled without even changing his shoes. (ANI)

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