New Delhi: Former President Ashraf Ghani's brother Hashmat Ghani has dismissed reports of he is joining the Taliban, saying he has " accepted their rule" but "accepted not to join them". Hashmat is an influential Afghan politician and a businessman and oversees the Ahmadzai tribe, the largest of the Pashtun tribes.
Speaking exclusively to WION's Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal, Hashmat Ghani said that "there was a plot...to kill him and they wanted to assassinate "his brother Ashraf Ghani to "create chaos, bloodbath in Kabul" so that "some of these retired old warlords can play their cards." Ghani had left Kabul on 15th August, the day when the Afghan National Capital fell to the Taliban. The former President is in UAE currently.
He also spoke about India-Afghan ties, the situation in the country after the Taliban takeover, and many other things.
Sidhant Sibal: My first question, and an obvious question which is going in the news as well that you have extended your support of your allegiance to the Taliban, is it true sir?
Hashmat Ghani: This is a misconception. I have accepted their rule. I have not accepted to join them. I have simply told them that in order to avoid bloodshed, I am accepted the rule which worse than everyone pulling the rug under us. I am staying here to safeguards my tribe, the educated ones, and those in commercial sectors. I told them frankly, they're very good at bringing out security, they have proven it in the last few days but they're lacking cooperation of intellect, those that are working in civil service, and those that know how to run the country, those that know how to run the financial sector and the business community. I will be in the country, if they want to join a government that is acceptable to people, I would, I would not join them but I will try to bridge a gap between those, so the country doesn't fall or doesn't face a collapse or faces hunger or starvation. This is my exact statement.
Sidhant Sibal: So, what is the situation like right now in Afghanistan and specifically Kabul, it has been more than one week since the fall of Kabul to Taliban..
Hashmat Ghani: As far as security, they have done a hell of a job. The only problem is the cooperation between them and the American forces, those who want to leave. I just made an offer that our influence and now that both sides are willing, we can interfere so that these people can leave with respect, and they can leave they're with their dignity intact. Hopefully they take my offer today, and they accept that. So, we can put some of set up there, so nobody gets killed, nobody gets insulted, and nobody leaves without any pain or suffering. That is the last clause on it. As far as the commodity prices. Everything else is raising daily because the lack of the banking sector, especially the freeze coming in from the American side. They didn't really adapt because they could have just frozen the aid, but they froze Afghanistan's National Reserve which belong to common man.
Sidhant Sibal: You talked about the proposal, this proposal has been given by you to the Americans or to in terms of both Americans and the Taliban so that there can be some kind of conversation between the two sides so that we can't see the disruption, we all have seen so far in Afghanistan.
Hashmat Ghani: I sent early morning to both sides. Basically, what I am saying is all I need is allow my guys to play a role, I want to take over that area and facilitate those who actually have a visa and separate those who are just coming there in order to create chaos.
Sidhant Sibal: Another question is, when it comes to India, How do you see India's role when comes to the current situation in Afghanistan. We know that there hasn't been any much public conversation as well between India and the Taliban, How do you see India and the Taliban?
Hashmat Ghani: India sees that there is a strong Pakistani influence which no one can deny. India has taken a back seat which at this stage is a smart play. I have told clearly to Taliban, not just because of India, Iran, central asia, Russia, in the west without an international relations or commercial ties..like the Air cargo routes that was established for the exports between Afghanistan and India has been one of the most successful ones for the Afghan fruits, dry fruits. It is necessary for Afghan businessman and Afghan community, especially in the fruit season. There has to be a presence of the embassies, all that. Once, both India and Pakistan have their embassies here so that the world will be bit more secure and there won't be much of an accusation that Afghanistan is being used against India or any country or Pakistan for that matter. We would love to see a neutral country, and I hope they understand that from my conversation they seem to understand that. Ties, people to people ties, the politics should not impact it.
Sidhant Sibal: And so the final question to you is about your brother. Have you had any conversation with your brother Ashraf Ghani and also any reason that why he left the country? And in a sense that he is being blamed for the current situation by many common Afghans. If u can give us little details of perhaps any conversation you had with your brother.
Hashmat Ghani: There was a plot that I'm sure he will give up the detail of that, respecting the UAE restriction on political activities, you would not be able to do it now but in due time, I'm sure. They wanted to kill him, and they wanted to assassinate him and create a chaos, bloodbath will take place in Kabul so some of these retired old warlords can play their cards. I'm glad that he left intact, and he prevented a bloodbath in the capital.
Sidhant Sibal: Who wanted to kill him ?
Hashmat Ghani: Let him give the detail. As soon as he feels that he can leave UAE, where he can be in a country where he can made political statements which is accepted.
Sidhant Sibal: Thank you so much for speaking to be on its pleasure having you here and we will continue the conversation. Thank you so much
Hashmat Ghani: Thank u, and thanks for the concern from the common Indian towards the Afghans and I am sure that ties between the people will never be impacted. Politics comes and goes, but people stay. We share a subcontinent. We share ties and I hope one day we'll see a smooth political relationship between India, Pakistan & Central Asia to another three to 400 million people get a life and future without pointing the barrel of gun at each other.