AP, Facebook-@Ahmadmassoud1, Republicworld.com
Days after former Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani's brother reportedly pledged his allegiance to the Taliban, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai on Sunday denied joining the terror group. Speaking to Republic TV's Executive Editor Niranjan Narayanswamy in an exclusive interview, Hashmat Ghani claimed that he 'wasn't worried about his life' and that he could not abandon his fellow countrymen amid the crisis fuelled by the Taliban citing previous instances that he had faced in the past.
Responding to a question on his brother having signed a peace deal with the US before fleeing from Afghanistan, Hashmat Ghani said, "I was not the part of the government, hence I cannot tell you anything about it." It must be noted that Ashraf Ghani had fled Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover and is settled in UAE now along with his family. Ghani was earlier reported to have taken shelter in neighbouring Tajikistan or Uzbekistan.
Further, Hashmat Ghani made a massive claim about the Anti-Taliban resistance force at the Panjir Valley and claimed, "The Panjshir movement has agreed to a truce." The Taliban and the Afghan forces at Panjir will meet and discuss a solution to avoid bloodshed, Ashraf Ghani's brother added.
"Ahmad Massoud has just agreed to a peace negotiation. He is not going to fight the Taliban. He has agreed to send a delegation to meet the people in Panjshir," said Hashmat Ghani adding that Massoud will meet Taliban leadership tomorrow to come up with a solution to avoid any war.
طالبان کا کہنا ہے کہ @ashrafghani کے بھائی حشمت غنی احمد زئی نے طالبان کی حمایت کا اعلان کیا ہے۔ طالبان رہنما خلیل الرحمٰن اور دینی عالم مفتی محمود ذاکری اس موقع پر موجود ہیں۔ ویڈیو مفتی ذاکری نے جاری کی ہے۔ pic.twitter.com/MmBIsRqwa4— Tahir Khan (@taahir_khan) August 21, 2021
The local media also reported that Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, chief of the Grand Council of Kuchis, announced his support for the group in the presence of Taliban leader Khalil-ur-Rehman and religious scholar Mufti Mahmood Zakir. On social media, the pictures of the meeting have since gone viral.
As US troops retreated after 20 years from war-ravaged Afghanistan, the Taliban launched an offensive taking over cities like Kandahar, Herat, and Lashkar Gah, gradually encircling the government in Kabul. Kandahar and Herat fell on Thursday, forcing government officials and their entourage to flee to the airport to escape the city by air, Mazar-e-Sharif fell on Friday, August 14, while Jalalabad and Lashkar Gah on Saturday, August 15, thereby strengthening the Taliban's stronghold.
The long-standing war in Afghanistan reached a watershed moment on Sunday when the Taliban insurgents closed in on Afghanistan's capital Kabul, entered the city and took over the presidential palace, forcing President Ashraf Ghani to join fellow citizens and foreigners in leaving the country.
(Image: AP, Facebook-@Ahmadmassoud1, Republicworld.com)