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Political figures of the previous Afghan government: Where they are now


Kabul: The unprecedentedly swift return of the Taliban to power after 20 years resulted in the Afghan republic’s top leadership and politicians scrambling to leave the country or find a place in the new dispensation.

Here is a tracker to monitor the latest actions and presence of those figures.

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan, currently lives in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Ghani left the country for an undisclosed destination on August 15 when the Taliban arrived at the gates of Kabul, and had captured almost all of Afghanistan in a few weeks with the complete withdrawal of foreign forces and most of the provinces surrendered without conflict.

With the release of the news of Mr. Ghani’s escape, the Taliban entered the presidential palace and the government practically collapsed.

A few days later, he said in a video message from the United Arab Emirates that he was forced to leave the country because a “conspiracy to kill” was lurking around him and to avoid bloodshed and disaster.

Also, in his first media interview with the BBC after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the former president of Afghanistan said that his escape from his country was a sudden decision and it happened when his security forces in presidential palace told him that they were no longer able to protect him.

During this one year, Mr. Ghani has had a limited conversation with the media and has published announcements on his social pages only in a few special cases.

Amrullah Saleh

After the fall of the country to the Taliban, Amrullah Saleh, the former first vice president of Afghanistan, appeared less in the media and did not comment much on the reasons for the fall of Afghanistan.

He is more active in social media and most of his writings revolve around the resistance front led by Ahmad Massoud and the current situation in Afghanistan. It is said that he currently lives in Tajikistan.

Sarwar Danish

Mohammad Sarwar Danesh, the former second vice president of Afghanistan, published a message on his official Facebook page on August 28, saying that he was in Turkey.

It was said that in the first days of the fall of government, he flew to Turkey from Kabul airport along with a number of other political figures.

But in early January, New Zealand media reported that the country had granted him and 13 members of his family “asylum” and that they had entered to this country.

Hamid Karzai

Former President, Hamid Karzai is one of the political figures who remained in the country after the escape of Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and currently lives in Kabul.

Although he had many media interviews during this period and also met with some representatives of foreign countries, he is restricted to travel outside of Afghanistan.

Mr. Karzai said earlier this year that he was banned from traveling abroad.

He has not traveled abroad since the fall of Afghanistan, and it was reported in early May that the Taliban prevented Mr. Karzai from traveling to the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Karzai was supposed to attend the funeral of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Dr Abdullah

Abdullah Abdullah, the former head of the Supreme Peace Council of Afghanistan, is currently living in Kabul. He, who was in Kabul after the fall of the previous government on August 15,

He left Afghanistan at the end of April and stated that the purpose of this trip was to visit his family in India. His family has lived in India for many years.

Abdullah Abdullah returned to Kabul on the 11th of June after a one and a half month trip and has not traveled abroad since.

Also, Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, the former Speaker of the Senate, and Golbedin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hizb-e-Islami, are also in Kabul.

Hamdallah Mohib

Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser fled Afghanistan with a helicopter on the day of the fall of Kabul, August 15, 2021, along with Ashraf Ghani.

He currently lives in London and recently told the BBC that he is talking to his friends to “learn a lesson” from what happened in Afghanistan.

He has had a lot of media talk during the past year, but the news of his speech in the middle of May at the Oxford Forum caused a reaction and caused many protests.

Also, at the end of June, the media reported that Mr. Moheb, who had entered the Istanbul airport to attend a media event, was not allowed to leave the airport.

Bismillah Mohammadi

Bismillah Mohammadi, the former Minister of Defense, also left the country after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and is said to be currently living in Tajikistan.

At the beginning of January, he published an article, and wrote about the fall of the government on August 15th and said, “I did not know anything about the president’s intention to flee.”

However, Ashraf Ghani said in an interview with the BBC: “Bismillah Khan called me and said that everything has collapsed. This was when I wanted to go to the Ministry of Defense. I waited for 25 minutes, but the cars did not come.”

Ahmad Zia Siraj

Ahmad Zia Siraj, the former head of Afghanistan’s national security, said in an interview with the BBC that he was in his office when Ashraf Ghani fled and learned of Mr. Ghani’s departure. He said that he spent one night at Kabul airport and left the country on August 16 by Turkish Airlines plane and went to Turkey and entered the UK from there.

It is said that he currently lives in London.

Hanif Atmar

Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the former foreign minister of Afghanistan, also left the country after the fall of the regime and is said to be currently living in Turkey.

During the past year, his attempt to change Afghanistan’s representative in the United Nations spread on news.

He wanted to introduce Mohammad Wali Naimi as the successor of Ghulam Mohammad Ishaqzai, the former representative of Afghanistan in this institution, which resulted in the objection of Nasir Ahmed Faiq.

Mr. Faiq was accepted by the United Nations as his successor after the resignation of Mr. Ishaqzai.

Ahmed Masoud

Ahmad Masoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Masoud, first went to Panjshir after the fall of the country and created the “second resistance” movement against the Taliban, known as the Afghan National Resistance Front. He currently lives in Tajikistan.

Ismail Khan

The influential regional leader led an uprising against the Taliban in Herat city, which staved the insurgent group for about a month. But on August 12, the capital of Herat province fell to the Taliban as the security forces withdrew to their base. He was taken into custody by the Taliban from the army base and detained at his residence.

He then left for Iran on August 15.

Where the other figures are?

Some other political figures left Afghanistan after the fall of the regime and are currently living in different countries.

A large number of politicians and members of the previous government, including Abdul Rashid Dostum, the former vice president and Mohammad Mohaqeq, the leader of the “Hezb-e-Wahdat”, are living in Turkey.

Likewise, Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf, the leader of the Ittihad Islam Party, Salahuddin Rabbani, the leader of Jamiat-e-Islami, Mohammad Karim Khalili, the former vice president, Mir Rahman Rahmani, the former head of the parliament are in Turkey.

Mohammad Younis Qanoni lives in London and Atta Mohammad Noor, the former governor of Balkh, lives in the UAE/Turkey.

Some members of parliament live in different countries and recently a number of them returned to Kabul through Taliban,s commission of contact with Afghan leaders and their repatriation.

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