‘Damn the rich man and his gang’: Defence Minister says Ghani sold his homeland


Afghanistan Defence Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, in a tweet apparently referring to President Ashraf Ghani and his associates, lamented that they “Tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland, damn the rich man and his gang”.

Senior Afghan leader and Head of High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, in a video clip, said that Ghani left Afghanistan.

He said that he left the people of Afghanistan in mess and misery and he will be judged in futurity.

VOA reported Ghani, along with his Vice President and other senior officials, flew out of the country on Sunday, setting the stage for Taliban insurgents to regain power in Afghanistan 20 years after a US-led military invasion ousted them.

There was no comment from Ghani or his embattled administration in Kabul. In a record message on Saturday, Ghani had told the nation he was consulting with both national and international players on the situation which he called an “imposed war”.

Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is said to have accompanied Ghani and the others who left, in a tweet vowed not to bow to the Taliban, but he did not respond in the message to reports of him leaving the country.

On Sunday morning, a Taliban delegation engaged prominent Afghan jihadi leaders, politicians and elders in negotiations that culminated in Ghani stepping down from office, sources directly aware of the developments told VOA.

The Taliban maintained in the talks that they would not engage Ghani in any transfer of power, saying he was not “a legitimate” President.

It is not known who was involved in the negotiations, but Abdullah Abdullah, who has overseen US-brokered, intra-Afghan peace talks with the Taliban, was among the negotiators of Sunday’s deal.

Under the deal reportedly reached, a delegation of Afghan leaders, including Abdullah, would travel to Qatar, where “the transfer of power to the Taliban” will formally take place, sources told VOA.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, in a tweet, confirmed that Sunday evening, the group’s fighters had entered Kabul to guard key installations to “prevent chaos and looting after Afghan security forces abandoned those posts”.

Ghani along with National Security Adviser Hamdullah Muhib and head of the administrative office of President, Fazel Mahmood Fazli left Afghanistan for Tajikistan.

Some lawmakers have also fled to Islamabad. Earlier, Speaker of Afghan Parliament Mir Rahman Rahmani, Younus Qanuni, Muhammad Muhaqeq, Karim Khalili, Ahmad Wali Masoud, and Ahmad Zia Masoud fled to Islamabad, Afghan media reported.

The Taliban, in an official statement, said that the fighters were directed to enter Kabul city so that they prevent potential looting and chaos in the city, as per media reports.

The statement reads that, since Afghan forces have left outposts in Kabul city, there is a risk of plundering.

Kabul is taken by the fighters at a time when the power is not transferred yet and a delegation is said to be leaving for Doha to complete the process.