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2022-02-15 19:33:00

Afghanistan authorities’s deputy spokesperson Inamullah Samangani. Picture: file
  • US final week seized $7 billion assets belonging to earlier Afghan authorities.
  • Goals to separate funds between 9/11 victims and help for post-war Afghanistan
  • Transfer attracts indignant response from Taliban leaders, who branded seizure a “theft”


KABUL: Afghanistan will be compelled to rethink its policy towards the US except Washington reverses a choice to freeze a part of the nation’s assets as compensation for victims of the 9/11 assaults, the Taliban stated Monday.

US President Joe Biden final week seized $7 billion in assets belonging to the earlier Afghan authorities, aiming to separate the funds between compensation for victims of the September 11, 2001, assaults on the US and desperately wanted help for post-war Afghanistan.

The transfer drew an indignant response from the nation’s new Taliban leaders, which branded the seizure a “theft” and an indication of US “moral decay.”

“The 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Afghanistan,” stated Monday’s assertion, signed by deputy spokesman Inamullah Samangani.

“Any misappropriation of the property of the Afghan people under the pretext of this incident is a clear violation of the agreement reached with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the assertion added, utilizing the Taliban’s title for the nation.

“If the United States does not deviate from its position and continues its provocative actions, the Islamic Emirate will also be forced to reconsider its policy towards the country.”

Push for justice

Biden’s uncommon step noticed the conflicting, extremely delicate problems with a humanitarian tragedy in Afghanistan, the Taliban struggle for recognition and the push for justice from households impacted by the 9/11 assaults collide, with billions of {dollars} at stake.

The cash, which a US official stated largely stems from overseas help despatched to assist the now-defunct Western-backed Afghan authorities, had been caught within the New York Federal Reserve since final yr’s Taliban victory.

The federal government appointed by the Taliban — who fought US-led forces for 20 years and now management the entire of Afghanistan — has not been acknowledged by every other nation, largely due to its human rights report.

Nonetheless, with an financial disaster gripping the nation, Washington is searching for methods to help whereas additionally side-stepping the group.

The White Home stated Biden will search to funnel $3.5 billion of the frozen funds right into a humanitarian help belief “for the benefit of the Afghan people and for Afghanistan’s future”.

The destiny of the opposite $3.5 billion is extra complicated.

Households of individuals killed or injured within the 9/11 assaults utilizing hijacked airliners on New York and the Pentagon, in addition to a fourth that crashed in Pennsylvania, have lengthy struggled to seek out methods to extract compensation from Al-Qaeda and others accountable.

In US lawsuits, teams of victims gained default judgements towards Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which hosted the shadowy terrorist group on the time of the assaults, however have been unable to gather any cash.

They will now have the chance to sue for entry to the frozen Afghan assets.

Biden’s transfer seems to have angered a majority of Afghans — even these against the Taliban, who seem to have tapped into that resentment.

“For the United States to avoid international reproach and not to damage its relations with the Afghan people, it must relinquish its decision,” Monday’s assertion stated.

“Release the wealth of Afghans unconditionally.”

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