The Afghan Twitterati is angered at Afghanistan former president Ashraf Ghani’s letter of clarification over why he fled Kabul the day the Taliban marched into Kabul on August 15.
Ghani posted a letter on Twitter on Wednesday and apologized to Afghans for leaving hastily as the palace guards had urged him to evacuate. In the letter, Ghani also categorically denied claims that he fled with millions of dollars that belonged to Afghanistan and welcomed a formal audit to prove his words. He added that he always fostered democratic principles in Afghanistan and would always be committed to Afghan people.
Several Afghans were not buying the former leader’s words. Former Afghanistan finance minister and former representative of the president to Pakistan, Dr Omar Zakhilwal, was outraged over the letter. Dr Zakhilwal called Ghani a ‘conman’ and said that he came to power based on lies and continued to lie to the Afghan people. Zakhilwal added that the audit should be conducted with certainty, with a special investigation of the ‘25-acres mansion’ that Ghani declared as his wife’s inheritance in Lebanon.
1/2: @ashrafghani, u were a Conman, came in by lies & falsehood, ruled by lies & falsehood, led a functioning state to a collapse with lies & falsehood & now you defend yourself with lies & falsehood. More than a statement to cover ur lies with more lies u owe to this nation… https://t.co/sxFFhZfUaJ
— Dr Omar Zakhilwal (@DrOmarZakhilwal) September 8, 2021
Another Afghan diplomat to Pakistan was also displeased at the letter. Former charge d’ affaires of Afghanistan Ahmad Shakir Qarar said that Ghani was a ‘thief, a mental patient, a dictator and a liar’. Qarar added that Ghani would go down in Afghanistan’s history as a traitor who was responsible for the stalled Afghan peace process.
ته یو غل، رواني مریض، دیکتاتور او دروغجن انسان یې. ته او ستا ټامیان باید د فساد، د افغانستان د بنسټونو د نړولو، د سولې د خبرو د ځنډولو او د زرګونو افغانانو د وژلو له کبله محاکمه شئ. تاریخ به دې د یو ملي خاین په توګه پېژني
— Ahmad Shakir Qarar (@Qarar_Shakir) September 8, 2021
A former Afghanistan correspondent, Mujib Mashal was disappointed that the letter was in English. Mashal said that it spoke mounds of Ghani’s commitment to his people who predominately spoke Pashto or Farsi.
At this point, none of this matters. But still hard not to be enraged. Tells you much about what he thought of his own people, his audience/priorities: Ghani’s issued a statement that’s supposed to be for “the Afghan people,” but only in English.
There’s no Pashto/Farsi version. https://t.co/dspA3PgPWT
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) September 8, 2021
An Afghan user, Zarlasht pointed out a discrepancy between Ghani’s earlier statement and the letter from a day ago. The user said that Ghani had earlier said that ‘foreign people’ came looking for him on the day Kabul fell to the Taliban. She added that it was strange that it took Ghani two weeks to change his story. Zarlasht also responded to Ghani’s statement that he had inherited a ‘monster’ of corruption when he came to power. She said that Ghani had received a ‘state’ which he later ruined during his reign.
Ghani, I thought you fled because there were foreign people looking for you room to room in Arg? Took you 2 weeks to come up with an alternative story? You didn’t inherit a monster. You inherited a State. Then you failed it, collapsed it and simply fled (as we expected). https://t.co/Raka5CeisG
— Zarlasht (@ZarlashtTheOne) September 8, 2021
Some Twitter users who responded were committed to the Afghanistan resistance that picked up pace in the province of Panjshir after August 15. The armed resistance was led by former Afghan military commander Ahmed Massoud and made up of anti-Taliban Afghans and members of the Afghan army.
A pro-resistance account on Twitter said that Ghani made very little mention of the people who fought to hold their ground against the Taliban. It added that Ghani should have been removed for incompetence right after Taliban took over Herat in July this year.
So finally #Ghani spoke. Only briefly mentioning our sacrifices and rest is all about his failures. Rightly so. In the army we blamed #AmrullahSaleh for not acting according to the constitution by removing Ghani for being incompetent.This should have been done after fall of Herat pic.twitter.com/yPwoTc55AJ
— Resistance 2.0 🇦🇫 مقاومت برای آزادی (@AFG_Resistance) September 8, 2021
Another pro-resistance user echoed that Ghani’s letter was selfish in its aims. The user said that Ghani did not care for the protestors who tried to stand up to the Taliban.
You had last chance to talk and you literally tried to use it for your own benefits! Afghanistan is not in your mind at all, all the protests and suffering we are going through means nothing to you. #nationaluprisingagainsttaliban #standwithpanjshir #آزادي #قيام https://t.co/DKCNpIg9GD
— Maryam AhmadShah Massoud (@massoud_maryam) September 8, 2021
Ghani and his family took refuge in Abu Dhabi on August 15 as US troops also departed after their two-decade long War on Terror in Afghanistan. Ghani left behind chaotic scenes as desperate Afghans tried to flee the Taliban. Several Afghans including women and journalists feared for their life under the Taliban regime while others took up the cause of resistance against them.