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Ousted Afghan President Ghani Says Facebook Account 'Hacked'


Deposed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Deposed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says his Facebook account was hacked after a statement posted in his name called for international recognition of the Taliban-led government.

The alleged hack arose amid a dispute over who should speak later on September 27 on behalf of Afghanistan at the 76th session General Assembly, with no country so far recognizing the hard-line militant group's government that emerged after Ghani fled last month amid the U.S.-led international withdrawal.

"The official Facebook page of Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has been hacked since yesterday. Not all content published on this page is valid until the page is retrieved," Ghani said on Twitter almost an hour after the Facebook statement urging recognition was posted.

The Facebook statement still visible on Ghani's official site decried the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and urged the international community to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate power in Afghanistan and unblock Afghan government funds frozen abroad.

"They (the international community) should interact with the current government," the message said. "Help them, give [them] the frozen budget of the Afghan nation and recognize it."

A former director of cultural and social affairs for Ghani, Mahbob Shah Mahbob, also took to Twitter to say "the post on President Ghani's Facebook page is not his opinion, the page has been hacked and is not in the possession of our colleagues."

Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has called on the United Nations to allow a former Taliban negotiator and spokesman in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen, to be its representative to the UN General Assembly.

A UN spokesman has said the Ghani government's former permanent representative at the United Nations, Ghulam Mohammad Ishaqzai, will speak on behalf of Afghanistan.

Ghani is living in exile in the United Arab Emirates after fleeing the country the day Taliban militants marched into Kabul.

Ghani later apologized to Afghans, saying he left to avoid bloodshed, and denied reports that he had taken with him millions of dollars in cash.

He has been heavily criticized nationally and internationally for escaping before a political settlement could be reached.

With reporting by Radio Azadi, dpa, and TASS
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