TWO senior Afghan ministers were pictured driving around London in a Bentley as their country was on the verge of falling to the Taliban.
The photograph shows Sadat Naderi and Hamdullah Mohib driving past a pub in Marylebone, central London, in late July.
Sadat Naderi and Hamdullah Mohib driving through London[/caption]
Sadat Naderi admitted the pair were in the car[/caption]
Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15 after a lightning advance that stunned the world.
The then Peace Minister Naderi, 44, and National Security Adviser Mr Mohib, were pictured as fanatics back home were on the rampage.
The picture was shared on social media by fuming critics, with some unhappy with the timing of the overseas meeting.
In response, Mr Naderi confirmed the picture showed him and Mr Mohib in the car and was taken during a trip to London – but denied the picture was taken after the country fell.
He said: “The picture published in London was taken when a former government board officially came to London on July 23.
“This picture was photographed at the end of that trip by one of our compatriots, and after the time I have not had any other contact and meeting with Mr Mohib.
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“The motor seen in the picture is also my personal car, which I bought from my personal income.”
He went on to say “my family have never thought about anything but the interests of the nation and the dignity and pride of Afghanistan in any part of time”.
According to local media reports and a statement from the former government, the pair were in London at the time and met former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 23.
Another picture from National Security Council of Afghanistan tweeted on that day shows Mr Mohib meeting government minister Lord Tariq Ahmad.
Around that time, Taliban forces were advancing rapidly through Afghanistan with a series of provincial capitals falling to them.
It was predicted the insurgents would reach Kabul in 90 days.
But as demoralised government forces crumbled in the face of the onslaught, in just over a fortnight they were in the Presidential Palace.
The speed of their victory shook the world and came just weeks after troops from the US, UK and other Nato countries left Afghanistan.
A spokesman for Mr Mohib has been approached for comment.
Hamdullah Mohib and Naderi were in London as the Taliban was advancing rapidly[/caption]
Taliban fighters on their advance[/caption]
The Taliban leadership in the Presidential Palace[/caption]
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