Ashraf Ghani, the exiled president of Afghanistan, claims he was “expelled” and “would have been hanged” had he remained in the country instead of leaving, according to a report.
Ghani addressed his situation – and that of his homeland – in a Facebook video that was uploaded Wednesday, according to a report posted by Yahoo News.
The exiled president is said to have taken refuge in the United Arab Emirates since leaving Kabul earlier this week.
Ghani’s comments in the nine-minute-long video are converted into English by author K.S. Arpitha, whose article first appeared on the website BreezyScroll, according to Yahoo News.
In the video, Ghani denies that he fled Afghanistan solely to save his own life, the report said.
“Do not believe whoever tells you that your president sold you out and fled for his advantage and to save his own life,” he reportedly said. “These accusations are baseless. And I strongly reject them. I was expelled from Afghanistan in such a way that I didn’t even get the chance to take my slippers off my feet. Or pull on my boots.”
He also claimed that he arrived in the UAE without any money – rejecting an Afghan diplomat’s accusation that he stole $169 million from his government.
Zahir Aghbar, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Tajikistan, called Wednesday for international authorities to arrest Ghani, according to The Associated Press..
Ghani, 72, who took office in September 2014, also expressed a desire to someday return to Afghanistan and claimed that talks were underway between the Taliban and members of the ousted government. He said he left the country “so that bloodshed and chaos is stopped.”
He recalled the 1996 fate of a predecessor, Mohammed Najibullah, who was tortured and then hanged by the Taliban after it seized Kabul for the first time.
“Had I stayed there, and elected president of Afghanistan would have been hanged again rigt before the Afghans’ own eyes,” he said, according to the report.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.