Afghan leader-in-exile Ashraf Ghani says he “would have been hanged” had he stayed: report

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Ashraf Ghani, the exiled Afghan president, claims he was “expelled” and “would have been hanged” if he had stayed in the country instead of leaving, according to a report.

Ghani opened up about his situation – and that of his homeland – in a Facebook video that was uploaded on Wednesday, according to a report by Yahoo News.

The exile president is said to have fled to the United Arab Emirates since leaving Kabul earlier this week.

Ghani’s comments in the nine-minute video are converted to English by author KS Arpitha, whose article first appeared on the BreezyScroll website, according to Yahoo News.

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In the video, Ghani denies having fled Afghanistan only to save his own life, according to the report.

“Don’t believe anyone who tells you that your president sold you and ran away for his benefit and to save his own life,” he reportedly said. “These accusations are baseless. And I firmly reject them. I was deported from Afghanistan so that I did not even have a chance to take off my slippers. Or put on my boots.”

He also claimed he arrived in the UAE penniless – rejecting an Afghan diplomat’s charge that he stole $ 169 million from his government.

Zahir Aghbar, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Tajikistan, on Wednesday called on international authorities to arrest Ghani, according to the Associated Press.

Ghani, 72, who took office in September 2014, also expressed a wish to one day return to Afghanistan and said talks were underway between the Taliban and members of the ousted government. He said he left the country “so that the bloodshed and the chaos will be stopped”.

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He recalled the fate in 1996 of a predecessor, Mohammed Najibullah, who was tortured and then hanged by the Taliban after taking Kabul for the first time.

“If I had stayed there, the president-elect of Afghanistan would have been hanged again in front of the Afghans,” he said, according to the report.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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