Pakistan pushes for unfreezing Afghan assets abroad

The international community should not take steps that might lead to economic collapse in Afghanistan, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, while calling for unfreezing Afghan assets blocked abroad

Sep 10, 2021
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Pakistan-Afghanistan flags (File)

The international community should not take steps that might lead to economic collapse in Afghanistan, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, while calling for unfreezing Afghan assets blocked abroad. 

The international community, Qureshi said, might assess the conduct of the Afghan Taliban but it must not resort to steps that could lead to the economic collapse of Afghanistan. “So, the first thing you do is to release their assets…the Afghan assets. Defreeze them and let the Afghan people utilize their money for their benefit,” he added.

The view was also endorsed by his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Muhmad Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who met Qureshi on Thursday. Both Qatar and Pakistan have already been started sending humanitarian assistance to Kabul.

“Humanitarian assistance should be independent of any political progress because we believe that Afghan people deserve to be supported despite what’s happening in the political landscape,” Al-Thani said.

The Qatari top diplomat also met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. 

“We both agree that the immediate challenge is to avoid the humanitarian crises,” Qureshi told the joint press conference, endorsing his Qatari counterpart’s view that no strings should be attached to humanitarian assistance.

After the Taliban seized power militarily in Afghanistan on 15 August, most of the Afghan central bank’s roughly $10 billion in assets, kept in US banks were frozen by the US government. Later, the US regulators allowed personal remittances to flow. 

Experts had warned that the absence of funds could cause a humanitarian disaster in the country. Other global lenders, the World Bank and the IMF, too, had stopped funding to the country. 

Several NATO countries, which had earlier pledged funding to the government, stopped their assistance. 

(SAM) 

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