Afghan economists object to US decision to move frozen assets

Economists have vehemently opposed Washington’s decision to establish the Afghan Fund and transfer $3.5 billion of Afghanistan’s frozen assets into a Swiss account.

The economists said Monday the people appointed to manage the fund do not have the expertise to do so and collectively called for Afghanistan foreign reserves to be returned to the country.

One economist, Sayed Massoud, said the management of this money is critical and that serious attention needs to be paid to the disbursement of the money.

“I think that the process of managing this money is very important and more attention should be paid to it because it is assets of the Afghan nation,” said Massoud.

Other experts have said the establishment of this fund is not beneficial to the people of the country.

“I think this money should be transferred to Afghanistan, if even one dollar of these assets is used, it is like playing with the lives of Afghans,” said Abdul Qadir Jilani, another expert.

Taj Mohammad Talash, another economist, also voiced his concern over the US decision and said: “In my opinion, taking part of this money to Switzerland and spending it under the leadership of those who have always hurt Afghanistan’s economy in the last two decades is a great injustice to the people of Afghanistan, which is done by the international community.”

Bilal Karimi, the deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, also said that the Islamic Emirate is strongly opposed to the transfer of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves to another country.

“This money should be delivered to us and we are the owner of this money and it should be delivered to Afghans, we do not agree with sending it to other countries,” Karimi said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, the Central Bank of Afghanistan and a number of other government institutions have also objected to the decision.

Last week, Washington announced it had set up a new fund that could eventually serve as a mechanism to free up Afghanistan’s frozen assets in order to promote economic stability in the country.

According to officials, the Biden administration worked with Switzerland and Afghan economists to set up this fund.