America’s inexplicable decision to distribute half of Afghanistan’s assets to its own citizens: Munir Akram

Munir Akram, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said that America’s decision to give half of Afghanistan’s wealth to its own people was baffling.

He said this while voicing reservations over the United States’ decision to release $7 billion in assets from the Afghan central bank, half of which may be used for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and the other half for compensation to 9/11 victim families. The assistance would be channelled via a system to the Afghan government.

Half a loaf is preferable to none, Ambassador Munir Akram said. Simultaneously, the Pakistani ambassador emphasised that “there is something wrong with a financial system in which one state may unilaterally seize another’s national assets to pay out dubious claims by its own people.”

The funds were placed in the United States by Afghanistan’s central bank before the Taliban’s takeover last year and have since been kept inaccessible to the Taliban. The majority of the funding comes from overseas contributions made during the last two decades.

“We have always agreed with the international community, as well as with the requests of top UN officials and humanitarian aid groups, to defrost Afghanistan’s reserves,” said Akram.

“This money is crucial for reviving and sustaining the Afghan economy, injecting much-needed cash, and saving millions of lives during a severe winter,” he said.

Moreover, this money is required to provide fundamental services to the public, such as health and education, as well as to construct crucial infrastructure.

At this crucial point, the most effective and compassionate expression of solidarity with the Afghan people would be the restoration of Afghanistan’s national assets to the people to whom they belong and to whom they must return, Ambassador Akram continued.

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