Business & Economy

Afghans urge Biden to reverse move on frozen funds

Kabul, Feb 15 (EFE).- Hundreds of people rallied on Kabul streets Tuesday to urge United States President Joe Biden to reverse his decision on using half of the $7 billion frozen assets from the Afghan central bank to compensate American families of 9/11 victims.

The controversial decision has sparked anger in the war-ravaged country, which is in the middle of economic catastrophe, partly due to frozen funds abroad after the Taliban seized power in Kabul on Aug.15 last year.

The US government froze some $7 billion in Afghan central bank assets that the now-ousted Western-backed government led by President Ashraf Ghani had on deposit at the US Federal Reserve Bank.

The protesters gathered at the Sarai Shahzada money market in Kabul, shouting anti-US slogans and asking the White House not to “steal Afghan money.”

They urged Biden and the international community to be fair with their country, as the frozen assets belonged to the people and not to any government or a political party.

“We are not supporting any politic(al ideology). We just want our money (back),” Basharat Wahid, a protester, told EFE.

He said Biden had “arrogantly” decided to use the Afghan money to compensate the relatives of the victims of the Sep.11, 2001 attack by the al-Qaeda global terror network.

The US invaded Afghanistan after the attacks, blaming the Taliban for sheltering al-Qaeda leaders who planned the strike more than 20 years ago.

Samandar, another protester, argued that the Afghans were not involved in scheming and plotting the 9/11 tragedy.

The decision to use $3.5 billion of the frozen Afghan assets was “illogical,” he said.

“Why should the Afghan nation pay the price,” Samandar asked.

The Taliban government Monday called Biden’s “irresponsible and a clear violation of the rights of the Afghan people and the Doha agreement.”

“Freezing Afghan funds was against all international norms. Now he (Biden) wants to arbitrarily seize it irresponsibly. The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns Biden’s unfair act that violates the rights of all Afghans,” Taliban spokesperson Bilal Karimi said.

The Taliban warned that if the US government did not reverse the decision and discontinue its “provocative actions,” it would reconsider its relations with America. EFE


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