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Biden’s order on Afghanistan’s capital draws reactions

Biden’s order on Afghanistan’s capital draws reactions

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12 Feb 2022 - 17:56
Biden’s order on Afghanistan’s capital draws reactions
author avatar
12 Feb 2022 - 17:56

KABUL (Pajhwok): Former and current Afghan officials have strongly reacted to US President Joe Biden’s executive order to freeze about $7bn in assets held in US financial institutions by the Afghan central bank.

The US president vowed to direct $3.5bn to humanitarian aid and preserve the rest for families of victims of the September 11 terror attacks.

The 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington killed around 3,000 people. At the time, US officials blamed al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, for the attacks.

Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan at the time and after the attack, the US invaded Afghanistan but Osama bin Laden was later killed in by US forces in Pakistan.

The US has reportedly frozen nearly $10 billion in assets in Afghanistan since the previous government of Afghanistan was collapsed on August 15 and replaced by the current caretaker government of the Taliban.

In addition to freezing Afghanistan capital, the US also imposed some sanctions on the country. As a result, Afghans faced severe economic hardships, and Afghans in Kabul and other provinces repeatedly demanded that their assets should be freed.

The US president on Friday night signed the executive order freeing up $7 billion in frozen Afghan central bank  reserves to be split between humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and American victims of 9/11 attacks.

Reports say the lawsuit was previously filed by some families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks against the Taliban for giving sanctuary to al-Qaeda leaders during the attacks.

Reactions of current and former Afghan officials and Human Rights Watch

Mohammad Naeem, the Afghan government’s political spokesman based in Doha, tweeted: “Stealing the blocked funds of Afghan nation by the United States of America and its seizure shows the lowest level of humanity.”

“Victory and defeat is natural in humans, but the worst and shameful defeat is military and moral defeat,” he said.

Abdul KarimKhurram, head of the office of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said that the fund was the reserve of the Afghan central bank

“The split of this money would not be used for humanitarian aid neither for the false compensation, Biden’s order can make Afghanistan stateless, hungry and destroy Afghanistan’s economy, Biden may want that,” he said.

MasoomStanekzai, head of the former Afghan government’s peace delegation, also in a tweet said, “The 9/11 attacks must be compensated by those who carried them out, not by the people of Afghanistan. The capital of Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans, hundreds of thousands of martyrs. Who should compensate the hundreds of thousands of Afghan martyrs and wounded?!”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that the US move could set “a problematic precedent.”

“Directing $3.5 billion to humanitarian assistance for Afghans may sound generous, but it should be remembered that the entire $7 billion already legally belonged to the Afghan people,” HRW said in a statement.

Thomas West, the US special envoy to Afghanistan, did not comment on the 7 billion compensation to the families of some of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, but in a tweet he said, “The scale of the crisis in Afghanistan demands a global response. Today’s Executive Order is part of an effort to preserve a substantial portion of Afghanistan’s reserves to support the needs of the Afghan people.”

The US secretary of state also said that the executive order was for the benefit of Afghans.

Some Afghans also reacted to Biden’s decision in social media

Massoud Abid in a social media post said, “The aggression and invasion was carried out by the Americans and their allies. They lost the war. It is the right of Afghanistan that should be compensated for war instead of stealing our money.”

JamshidAsadi, also in a post said that the 9/11 attacks had nothing to do with Afghans and that US had no right to make that decision on its own.

He said that the fund was the assets of Afghans. “It is absolutely the use of force, they have power, they steal the right of a starving nation, it is a shame for the US,” he said.

Mohammad EdrisHimmatalso said, “The US created 9/11 as a conspiracy, invaded Afghanistan, martyred and wounded hundreds of thousands of Afghans, maimed thousands of Afghans and killed innocent people and destroyed their houses.”

“God disgraced and downed Americans, they were forced to make a historic record by fleeing, but now they take revenge on the oppressed people of Afghanistan for their defeat. Freezing, possessing and usurping the wealth of the proud Afghan nation by the US only shows the wickedness, immorality and arrogance of the US, which in no way and no law is the right and authority of the America,” he said.

NasirullahNasratsaid, “Why invaded Afghanistan for 9/11 attacks and killed our people for 20 years, you did not find Osama bin Laden or any other terrorists here…”

EzatullahAhmadi in a tweet said that the money belonged to the Afghan nation and it was senseless when the US use it for other purposes.

“It’s a stupid decision because they destroyed the World Trade towers themselves and then used it as an excuse to invade our country, they gave the money of our nation to compensate the victims of their own attack, why they do not compensate for over a million Afghans they killed, they are terrorists, they use force and have no logic,” he said.

HilalGhaznavi about the history of Afghanistan said that history was written for the experience and benefit of future generations. “I think Bide does not read history to make such decisions,” he said.

He said that current US leaders kept enmity for their future generations by making such decisions.


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