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President Ashraf Ghani


President Ashraf Ghani

On August 15, 2021, at the age of 72, President Ashraf Ghani fled his country leaving behind a nation in chaos and coming to grips with a second round of Taliban rule. He was the President of Afghanistan for seven years after his election in 2014. He was reelected again in 2019 in an election marred by corruption and fraud.

Background. He came from the Logar province - located just below the Kabul province and was an ethnic Pashtun.

Experience. He was a former finance minister, serving under President Karzai. In addition, he worked for the World Bank, the United Nations, was a professor at a U.S. university, and a book author. His book, authored in 2009, was entitled Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World.

Leadership Style. Many critics say that he was a poralizing figure. He was constantly changing out leadership in his ministries - especially that of the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense. He worked openly and behind the scenes to sideline warlords and power brokers - especially those from the northern regions. His centralization of power in Kabul effectively weakened local and traditional structures of power.

Leaving Afghanistan. Ghani left Afghanistan with some close aides, flew to Tajikistan where he was denied entry, and then on to Oman. He eventually found his way to the United Arab Emirates. On Wednesday, August 18, 2021 the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement saying that the ". . . UAE has welcomed President Ashraf Ghani and his family into the country on humanitarian grounds." Ghani should be living quite comfortably, some reports (Afghan ambassador to Tajikistan) say he left Afghanistan with $169m bags worth of cash.

News Reports About Ashraf Ghani

August 16, 2021, "Ashraf Ghani: The Deeply Polarizing President Who Oversaw the Fall of Afghanistan", by Frud Bezhan, Gandhara.



Top photo: By Tim Godbee, DVIDS, July 12, 2016.



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