KABUL : Former Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement on Wednesday to refute the allegeations 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.”
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.”
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”.
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.