Afghanistan’s Central Bank slates US plan for frozen funds

Afghanistan’s central bank on Saturday criticized Washington’s plan to use half the bank’s $7 billion in frozen assets soil for humanitarian aid and the rest to compensate victims of the 9/11 attacks.

Calls have continued to mount for the US to release the frozen assets in order stop the freefall of the Afghan economy and assist millions of Afghans who are facing a severe food shortage crisis.
Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) criticized the decision, saying its assets had been invested in the United States in line with international practices, and belonged to the people of Afghanistan.

“DAB considers the latest decision of USA on blocking FX (foreign exchange) reserves and allocating them to irrelevant purposes, injustice to the people of Afghanistan,” the central bank said in a statement.

“(DAB) will never accept if the FX reserves of Afghanistan is paid under the name of compensation or humanitarian assistance to others and wants the reversal of the decision and release of all FX reserves of Afghanistan,” it added.

The central bank funds were frozen when the former government collapsed.

Pakistan meanwhile also reacted to the decision and in a statement issued late Saturday said “the utilization of Afghan funds should be the sovereign decision of Afghanistan”.

“Over the past several months, Pakistan has been consistently emphasizing the need for international community to quickly act to address the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan and to help revive the Afghan economy, as the two are inextricably linked.

“Pakistan’s principled position on the frozen Afghan foreign bank reserves remains that these are owned by the Afghan nation and these should be released. The utilization of Afghan funds should be the sovereign decision of Afghanistan,” read the statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.