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HomeBusinessExpert hails Pakistan’s efforts for unfreezing of Afghan funds

Expert hails Pakistan’s efforts for unfreezing of Afghan funds

Says half a loaf better than none at all

The United States finally announced the unfreezing of Afghanistan’s national assets, which is the result of the strong appeal of all parties concerned, and Pakistan’s unremitting diplomatic efforts have played the key role.

From the very beginning, Pakistan has insisted that Afghanistan’s national assets held in the United States should be returned to the Afghan people and the funds are “critically needed” to revive the country’s war-battered economy.

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In order to stir the United States to unfreeze Afghanistan’s national assets, Pakistan has consistently joined the calls of the international community as well as the senior United Nations officials to unfreeze Afghanistan’s reserves. Therefore, this positive development has emerged.

These views were expressed by Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor of Southwest University of Political Science and Law and Senior Fellow of the Charhar Institute in a statement on Sunday.

Prof Cheng noted that on February 11, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to free up the Afghan government’s $7 billion now frozen in the United States. He opined that although the White House said it wants to direct $3.5 billion for humanitarian assistance, and the other half of the money will be paid to the families of those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, half a loaf is better than none at all. This is the hard-earned money of the Afghan people, and it is totally against international rules for one country to unilaterally block the national assets of another. He insisted that the funds should not have been frozen. The frozen financial assets belong to the people of Afghanistan and they have the final say as to how the funds will be utilized.

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If half of the $7 billion Afghan assets frozen by the United States is used for humanitarian assistance and controlled by the United States itself, and the other half is paid to the families of those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, that is, the other half is paid by the United States to Afghans who have immigrated to the United States, this is absolutely unacceptable to the Afghan people and the international community.

If the United States insists on doing so, there is no point in the United States unfreezing the Afghan assets, he added. He further remarked that now the Afghan people are experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis. According to the UN’s World Food Program, 22.8 million Afghans, which accounts for over half of the country’s population, face acute food insecurity. The country is on the brink of economic collapse, with the local currency at an all-time low and food price on the rise. According to current trends, 97% of the Afghan population will fall into poverty by the middle of this year.

Therefore, the international community should jointly help Afghanistan alleviate the humanitarian crisis and stabilise the economy as the most important and urgent priority. As the most important neighbor of Afghanistan, Pakistan has made important contributions to alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and made its best efforts to provide assistance to Afghanistan, including food and materials, which should be fully recognised by the international community, he added.



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