KABUL (Pajhwok): Former president Ashraf Ghani promised to fight till death but escaped when the Taliban stormed into Kabul, says a senior US diplomat.
Asked in an interview on Sunday if he had personally tried to convince Ghani to stay in Kabul, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken replied in the affirmative.
The secretary of state recalled he phoned Ghani on Aug 14 and pressed him to accept transferring power to a new government in Kabul.
Th proposed government, he explained, would have been led by the Taliban but would have also included all aspects of the Afghan society.
In response, Ghani voiced his readiness to do that. But if the Taliban refused to go along, he was ready to fight to death, Blinken said.
“And the very next day, he fled Afghanistan,” the secretary added. The Taliban seized Kabul on Aug 15 as Ghani flew out of Afghanistan.
Blinken continued: “So, I was engaged with President Ghani over many weeks, many months.”
He went on to argue that President Joe Biden ended the longest war to ensure another generation of Americans would not have to die in Afghanistan.
Former US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad recently said the Biden administration could have done more to prevent the collapse of the government in Kabul.