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Were Afghan leaders paid to give in to the Taliban? The scoop on Italian TV

A bombshell TG1 report alleges that leading Afghan politicians – including President Ghani – were paid millions by Qatar to allow the radical group to take over Afghanistan in summer 2021

Let’s start with the numbers. $110 million to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; 60 to Atta Mohammad Noor, former governor of the northern province of Balkh; 50 to General Abdul Rashid Dostum, head of the Jumbesh-e-Milli (the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan).

  • This is how much Qatar allegedly paid to ensure that Afghanistan would end up in the hands of the Taliban in August 2021.
  • With that money, transferred from the Qatari embassy in Kabul to the local bank accounts of three leading Afghanian politicians, Doha would have invited them to give up fighting and hand the country over to radical Islamists.

Where does it come from? These allegations were made during the evening edition of TG1, Italy’s main national news programme, in a report by director Monica Maggioni and freelance journalist Filippo Rossi. The latter would have come into possession of the documents “through reliable sources,” which were then brought to the attention of the network’s editorial staff.

  • These would be papers, headed and dated, in which politicians are thanked for “their role in the peace process, the change of political regime and the formation of the new government in Afghanistan” – even before a new government was formed – with substantial donations.

The details. The figures and the names of recipients and mediators are all in these documents. The money supposedly reached President Ghani through Ajmal Ahmadi, temporary governor of Da Afghanistan Bank, the Afghan central bank. He allegedly met with Mutlaq bin Majid Al-Qahtani, the Qatari special representative for Afghanistan, in Kabul in July 2021 and received more than $100 million on behalf of the president, who later fled the country on August 15 of the same year.

  • The receipts of the payments make no reference to fighting or surrenders, but the authors of the scoop draw a line of consequentiality, comparing the dates of the receipts with the dates of the Taliban advance in the country. For them, the correlation is obvious: Afghan politicians were paid not to fight.

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