Washington must listen to UN and release Afghan funds: Taliban

Published January 15, 2022
An Afghan man carries dried tree branches to be used as firewood along a street in Kabul on Friday. — AFP
An Afghan man carries dried tree branches to be used as firewood along a street in Kabul on Friday. — AFP

KABUL: The Taliban on Friday urged Washington to heed a call by the United Nations chief to unlock Afghan funds frozen in the United States, as a humanitarian crisis deepens.

US authorities froze billions of dollars in Afghan assets after the Taliban seized power in August following the withdrawal of foreign forces. On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Washington to take the lead and prevent “the nightmare unfolding in Afghanistan” by releasing capital.

“The United States must respond positively to the international voice and release Afghan capital,” the Taliban government’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.

Washington has taken control of nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have suspended activities in Afghanistan, withholding aid as well as $340 million in new reserves issued by the IMF in August.

Many Western nations have also largely suspended their assistance to Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries. Aid agencies and the UN have estimated that more than half of the nation’s 38 million population is expected to face hunger this winter.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Spirit of ’74
26 Feb, 2024

Spirit of ’74

FOR three days in 1974, starting Feb 22, Lahore witnessed an epochal meeting of 38 Muslim nations as it hosted the...
Silence strategy
Updated 26 Feb, 2024

Silence strategy

Attempts at internet censorship only serve to tarnish Pakistan’s image globally and betray the democratic principles the country purports to uphold.
Nepra’s reluctance
26 Feb, 2024

Nepra’s reluctance

WHAT is the point in having a regulator that does not punish the entities it oversees for misconduct and...
Pipeline progress
25 Feb, 2024

Pipeline progress

THE outgoing caretaker government has decided to move forward with the much-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline...
Engaging the Taliban
25 Feb, 2024

Engaging the Taliban

DEALING with the Taliban — Afghanistan’s de facto rulers — continues to present a diplomatic dilemma for the...
Burden or opportunity?
Updated 25 Feb, 2024

Burden or opportunity?

Maryam Nawaz is embarking on a journey of challenges and opportunities.