It is a year since the Taliban took the reins in Afghanistan. The Islamic country’s former president has now disclosed his reason for fleeing.
Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country’s capital, Kabul, on August 15, 2021, has defended his action, insisting that his fleeing was not due to cowardice. While speaking to CNN on Sunday, Ghani said the defense minister had told him earlier that Kabul could not be defended from the onslaught of the Taliban, who were already at the city’s gate. Describing how unsafe his immediate environment had become, Ghani said one of the cooks in the palace had been offered $100,000 to poison him.
In response to criticism that he left the country rudderless, Ghani said he fled in order to avoid the humiliation of the country’s president in the hands of the Taliban. “The reason I left was that I did not want to give the Taliban and their supporters the pleasure of yet again humiliating an Afghan president and making him sign over the legitimacy of the government”, he said, adding that he has “never been afraid”. Ghani also dismissed allegations that claimed he had taken millions of dollars of the country’s money with him as he fled.
After capturing provincial capitals without much resistance, the Taliban gained control of the country’s seat of power on August 15, 2021. In the one year since then, women and girls have seen their rights significantly limited, after the Taliban placed restrictions on their access to education and work.