The previous governor of Afghanistan’s central financial institution has advised Sky Information how he escaped the nation with solely the garments he was carrying “and one shoe”.
Ajmal Ahmady, who was additionally an adviser to former president Ashraf Ghani, spoke as efforts proceed to get folks out of Afghanistan whereas the Taliban strengthens its management.
Mr Ahmady, 43, mentioned: “On the finish of the day, the one cause I used to be in a position to get out was – it was a really surreal expertise – we have been on the tarmac (at Kabul’s worldwide airport), with varied helicopters and different planes taking off.
“A Kam Air flight was crammed with thrice the restrict of what it ought to have been crammed with.
“I noticed a army airplane of a 3rd nation – this wasn’t a US airplane – and everybody was scrambling to get on board and I used to be pushed up by colleagues to get on that flight from a type of army convoys the place the again rail was going up.
“I made it on board with no possessions, the garments you see me carrying, and one shoe – and that is how I made it out of Afghanistan.”
Mr Ahmady, who has beforehand labored in asset administration, securities and consulting, mentioned he had initially gone to work on Sunday morning as regular, regardless of understanding that Taliban fighters have been getting nearer to Kabul.
The day earlier than that, he had met with President Ashraf Ghani for what could be their final work assembly, discussing “financial points associated to the brief time period however searching to 1 week”.
He mentioned the scenario had been “deteriorating very quickly” however there was hope that the Taliban have been nonetheless a couple of days away from the capital – hope that turned out to be misplaced.
“Because the information I acquired deteriorated and appeared worse, I left my workplace round midday and went to the airport and there I used to be in a position to e book a flight for that night which was subsequently cancelled,” he mentioned.
“…Issues have been calm till information that the president had resigned and left the nation. At that time, it turned somewhat chaotic.
“Folks reached out and ran to the tarmac, tried to try to get on varied planes that have been leaving and thankfully I used to be on board one such airplane.”
Mr Ahmady, who didn’t say the place his flight had landed, criticised the previous president and the shortage of a contingency plan because the Taliban got here nearer, including: “I feel that is the place my disappointment arose from.”
Mr Ahmady, who left deputies answerable for the central financial institution – Da Afghanistan Financial institution (DAB), mentioned that he anticipated “vital financial hurdles” lay forward for the nation.
He mentioned: “”I’d anticipate the US would freeze the worldwide reserves and make that inaccessible to the Taliban.
“If that occurs, the worldwide reserves, as a substitute of being greater than $9bn (£6.5bn), will change into no matter stays within the nation – a really small fraction.
“Consequently, the forex is prone to depreciate and inflation is prone to spike, and that is going to make it extra expensive for everybody to purchase fundamental commodities equivalent to meals, wheat for bread and many others.”
“Provided that data, I am fearful for the financial way forward for Afghanistan.”
The financial institution is believed to have international forex, gold and different treasures in its vaults however most of its property are held outdoors Afghanistan.
Central banks, particularly in growing international locations, typically hold their property abroad with establishments such because the Financial institution of England or the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York.
A US official confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday: “Any central financial institution property the Afghan authorities have within the US is not going to be made obtainable to the Taliban.”
Mr Ahmady, who was born in Afghanistan however educated within the US, mentioned he was unlikely to return to his homeland in an official capability, including: “I am comfortable to contribute as I can however I’ve spent seven years there to one of the best of my potential attempting to make a distinction.
“Seven years in any authorities is a very long time and, given the scenario, I would most likely present help from a distance.”