To put it lightly, the Biden administration’s decision to seize Afghanistan’s foreign currency assets is the least beneficial of all the options available to it.
President Joe Biden began the process of releasing the $7 billion in Afghan Central Bank funds held in the Federal Reserve on Friday with the signing of an executive order. When the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August, as American and NATO soldiers retreated, it put those assets on hold.
Joe Biden frees frozen Afghan funds for relief, 9/11 victims
His plan calls for depositing $3.5 billion into a trust fund for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, with the remaining $3.5 billion going to the families of victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
The issue is that Afghanistan owns that money, not the United States. It’s natural that Washington doesn’t want to give the Taliban billions of dollars. A dictatorship that has just started up where it left off two decades ago, restricting women’s access to schools and colleges, barring women from working, abducting protestors, journalists, and executing opponents, is not what anybody wants.
Biden’s efforts, on the other hand, are obviously detrimental, as the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations strive to persuade the US and the World Bank to relieve what amounts to an economic siege on Afghanistan.
In January, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the World Bank to immediately release $1.2 billion in reconstruction funds to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and inject liquidity to prevent an economic collapse, with more than half of the country’s nearly 40 million people facing acute hunger and a million children at risk of dying as a result of the harsh winter.
A month before, it had already contributed $280 million to the UN Children’s Fund and the World Food Program, The Washington Post reported.
Ex-Afghan leader condemns Biden decision on assets
A White House move to unfreeze $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the United States for the families of 9/11 victims was condemned by Afghanistan’s former president on Sunday as an atrocity against the Afghan people.
At a crowded news conference, former President Hamid Karzai appealed to Americans, notably the relatives of those slain in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to encourage President Joe Biden to reverse his decision last week.
He called it “unjust and unfair,” claiming al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden has also been a victim of al-Qaida. After being ousted from Sudan in 1996, Afghan warlords took Bin Laden to Afghanistan, as per the Republic World.
In 2001, the same warlords would join forces with the US-led coalition to defeat the Taliban. After the tragic 9/11 attacks that killed hundreds of people, Taliban commander Mullah Mohammad Omar refused to deliver bin Laden to the United States.