‘Completely false': Afghan ex-prez Ashraf Ghani junks corruption allegations

Ashraf Ghani said leaving Kabul was what he believed the only way to ‘keep the guns silent’ and ‘save Kabul and her 6 million citizens’.
Former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said he left the country in order to avoid ‘bloodshed’ after the Taliban took over Kabul nearly two decades after being ousted from power by a US-led invasion. (AP)
Former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said he left the country in order to avoid ‘bloodshed’ after the Taliban took over Kabul nearly two decades after being ousted from power by a US-led invasion. (AP)
Published on Sep 08, 2021 07:31 PM IST
Copy Link
By | Written by Avik Roy, New Delhi

Former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement on Wednesday to refute the allegations of corruption and swindling of money levelled against him.

Taking to Twitter from his official handle @ashrafghani, the former President of the war-torn nation — now ruled by Islamist militant group Taliban — posted a long statement, calling the allegations “baseless." 

“These charges are completely and categorically false. Corruption is a plague that has crippled our country for decades and fighting corruption has been a central focus of my efforts as president. I inherited a monster that could not easily or quickly be defeated,” Ashraf Ghani said in the statement.

Ghani left the presidential palace in Afghanistan's capital sometime around August 15, when the Taliban fighters were at the gates of Kabul, waiting to lay siege on the city. 

His whereabouts were unknown till August 18, when the United Arab Emirates released an official statement to announce that it was hosting Ghani and his family on “humanitarian grounds.”

ALSO READ | How Afghanistan's president went from hero to villain-in-hiding

Media reports claimed Ghani had left Kabul "with four cars and a helicopter full of cash" and was spotted "everywhere from Tajikistan to Oman to Abu Dhabi."

Reacting to the allegations, Ghani said he is open to an official audit or financial investigation under “UN auspices or any other appropriate independent body" to prove the veracity of his statements.

“My close aides are ready to submit their finances to public audit, and I would encourage and urge other former senior officials and political figures to do the same," Ghani said.

Immediately after Ghani left the country, the Afghan embassy in Tajikistan requested the Interpol to detain the former president Ashraf Ghani for allegedly stealing public wealth. 

After leaving, Ghani posted on Facebook that he exited the country to avoid bloodshed. However, his escape irked the people of Afghanistan, including his cabinet colleagues, many of whom called it "treason".

He said at that time that he was “expelled from Afghanistan” in such a way that he didn't even get the chance to take his “slippers off” his feet and pull on his boots.

Ghani said in the latest statement that leaving Kabul was the most difficult decision of his life. “…but I believed it was the only way to keep the guns silent and save Kabul and her 6 million citizens,” Ghani wrote.

ALSO READ | Why Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan's best academic, failed

“I have devoted 20 years of my life to helping the Afghan people work towards building a democratic, prosperous, and sovereign state — it was never my intent to abandon the people or that vision,” he further said.

A Fulbright Scholar with a doctorate from Columbia University, the 72-year-old economist assumed the presidency of Afghanistan in September 2014, after taking over from Hamid Karzai, who led Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in 2001.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S.

    Russia bars Biden, Blinken among other Americans from entering country: Report

    Amid tough global sanctions over the Ukraine war, Russia has published a "stop list", permanently banning 963 Americans - including US president Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken - from entering the country. Hollywood celebrities - including Morgan Freeman and actor-filmmaker Rob Reiner - also make the list, American news network CNN has reported.

  • Bachelet will meet virtually with heads of foreign missions on Monday before visiting Xinjiang on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to diplomatic sources in Beijing.

    China's Xinjiang crackdown under scrutiny ahead of UN rights chief visit

    China's crackdown on Muslim minorities in the remote region of Xinjiang will return to the spotlight next week when Beijing hosts the United Nations human rights chief for the first time in nearly two decades. The highly scrutinised six-day trip by High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet will begin Monday, with stops in the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar in Xinjiang, as well as Guangzhou in southern China, the UN announced Friday.

  • In this photo taken from video released by the Russian defence ministry on May 20, 2022, Russian servicemen frisk Ukrainian servicemen after they leaved the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. 

    Russia's claim of Mariupol's capture fuels concern for prisoners of war

    Concern mounted Saturday over Ukrainian fighters who became prisoners at the end of Russia's brutal three-month siege of Mariupol, as a Moscow-backed separatist leader vowed they would face tribunals. Its seizure delivers Russian President Vladimir Putin a badly wanted victory in the war he began in February. The Russian Defense Ministry released video of Ukrainian soldiers being detained after announcing that its forces had removed the last holdouts from the plant's extensive underground tunnels.

  • Former Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan gestures during a press conference in Islamabad.

    Imran Khan praises India's foreign policy after fuel price cuts: ‘This is what…’

    Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan heaped praise on India for buying discounted oil from Russia despite “pressure from the US”, saying his government was also working to achieve the same with the help of an independent foreign policy. He lashed out at the Pakistan Muslim League (N)-led government for “running around like a headless chicken with the economy in a tailspin.”

  • Monkeypox: World Health Organisation has expanded its definition of ‘non-endemic countries’. 

    92 monkeypox cases in 10 days from 12 countries, spread may grow -WHO: 10 points

    More monkeypox cases are likely, the WHO has said in its latest health bulletin, amid growing concerns over the global spread of the virus as the world is already in the midst of the fight against coronavirus. Health experts, however, have repeatedly said there's no need to panic.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, May 22, 2022