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Ashraf Ghani can return to Afghanistan: Taliban leader Khalil Haqqani

Ashraf Ghani

Islamabad, August 23: If the reports are to be believed, the Afghan Taliban have extended amnesty to deposed Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani and vice president Amrullah Saleh, allowing them to return to country if they desire. Meanwhile, Ghani has taken refuge in the United Arab Emirates.

Senior Taliban leader Khalil ur Rahman Haqqani, in an interview with Geo News, said, “There is no enmity” between the group and Ashraf Ghani, Amrullah Saleh and former national security advisor, Hamdullah Mohib.”

Haqqani said, “We forgive Ashraf Ghani, Amrullah Saleh and Hamdullah Mohib,” adding that enmity between the Taliban and the three was only on the basis of religion.

The leader said, “We forgive everyone from our end; from the general (who fought in the war against us) to the common man.”

He also urged people not to flee the country, adding that the “enemy” was spreading propaganda that the Taliban will exact revenge on them.

“Tajiks, Balochs, Hazaras and Pashtuns are all our brothers. All Afghans are our brothers and hence, they can return to the country. The sole reason for our enmity was driven by the ambition to change the system. And the system has now changed,” he added.

Haqqani said the Taliban were not the ones, who went to war against the US, adding that the group had decided to take up arms against the US after it invaded their homeland and fought against its culture, religion, and country.

The Americans were using weapons against us, on our homeland,” he said, adding that God gave the Taliban American weapons as the spoils of war.

In a video address on Wednesday, Ghani denied fleeing and said he had left to prevent what he described as a “huge disaster”.

“For now, I am in the Emirates so that bloodshed and chaos is stopped,” he said. “I am currently in talks to return to Afghanistan.”

Ghani also said rumours that he had travelled to the UAE with a large amount of money were “completely baseless” and “lies”.

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