Ex-Afghan leader slams ‘unjust’ Biden $7bn order — Analysis
Hamid Karzai appeals to the US not to freeze half its Afghan money for use on 9/11 victims
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned on Sunday the US government’s move to divert some $3.5 billion in frozen Afghan assets held by US banks to families of 9/11 victims, branding it an “atrocity” against the country’s people. It was, he stated. “unjust and unfair”According to the Associated Press, Afghanistan also had suffered from Al-Qaeda.
Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Karzai called on US courts and the American public – especially the relatives of 9/11 victims – to pressure President Joe Biden to reverse the executive order he signed on Friday that split some $7 billion in frozen Afghan reserves in the US between victims’ families and aid efforts for Afghans.
“The people of Afghanistan share the pain of the American people, share the pain of the families and loved ones of those who died, who lost their lives in the tragedy of September 11,”Karzai stated that Afghans were a problem. “as much victims as those families who lost their lives.”
The theft or withholding of money is a crime against the Afghan people. [the 9/11 victims]Name is unfair, unjust and atrocious against Afghans.
Biden’s order invoked emergency powers to compel US banks to consolidate and “block” the assets, which belong to Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank. The US government set aside half of the money to aid humanitarian efforts. But, how much is actually transferred will depend on the outcome of several legal claims.
It is important to note that assets are not liquid. “belong to any government,” Karzai asked US courts to “return the Afghan money back to the Afghan people.”He also opposed international aid agencies receiving the money and called for Afghans’ return “our own money so that it can be spent for those foreigners who come here, to pay their salaries, to give it to [non-governmental organizations].”
According to the AP, public outrage has been growing in Afghanistan ever since the White House made its announcement last week. Over the weekend, demonstrators marched in Kabul demanding the funds’ returnAnd reparations for the tens of thousands killed during the two-decade war in the country.
The Taliban, who have repeatedly claimed the assets, earlier branded Biden’s decision as “theft” and “the lowest level of human and moral depravity.”
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