Kabul | Jagran World Desk: Former president Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country last month as the Taliban entered Kabul, on Wednesday refuted the allegations of corruption and swindling of money levelled against him.

In a statement on Twitter, Ghani said he left at the urging of the palace security in order to avoid the risk of bloody street fighting and denied stealing millions from the treasury.

Taking to Twitter from his official handle Ghani 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.

He also said "I owe the Afghan people an explanation for leaving Kabul abruptly on August 15 after Taliban unexpectedly enter the city. I left at the urging of the palace security who advised me that to remain risked setting off the same horrific street-to-street fighting the city had suffered during the Civil War of the 1990s."

Ghani left the presidential palace in Afghanistan's capital 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."

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". Media reports claimed Ghani left Kabul "with four cars and a helicopter full of cash."

For the unversed, Ghani is 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.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha