Taliban pleads to US Congress to let go of Afghan assets – Nexus News

Yesterday, The Taliban appealed to The US Congress members to release Afghan assets frozen after they take control of the country, cautioning economic turmoil at home could lead to trouble abroad.

In an open letter, Amir Khan Muttaqi, Taliban Foreign Minister disclosed that the biggest challenge facing Afghanistan was financial insecurity, “and the roots of this concern lead back to the freezing of assets of our people by the American government”.

Washington took possession of almost $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank, and the aid-dependent economy has effectively run down with civil servants unpaid for months and the treasury not able to pay for imports.

Disturbed nations have promised hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, but are not willing to commit funds unless the Taliban agree to a more inclusive government and to assure the rights of women and minorities.

“I present to you our compliments and would like to share a few thoughts on our bilateral relations,” Muttaqi wrote, stating that 2021 was the centenary of Washington acknowledging Afghanistan’s sovereignty.

In measured understatement, he said: “Akin to other world countries, our bilateral relations have also experienced ups and downs.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid (C, with shawl) 

Mass migration’ threat

Muttaqi said Afghanistan was benefiting from a stable government for the first time in over 40 years, a reign that began with an invasion by the Soviet Union in 1979 and ended with the withdrawal of the last US troops on August 31.

From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban led Afghanistan with an iron fist, viciously violating human rights in the name of Islamic law, igniting fears of a return of their abuses.

The Taliban have since returning to power gone to great lengths to assure the international community that they want to do things totally differently this time though no female ministers have been appointed, and girls are still denied from returning to secondary school.

“Practical steps have been taken towards good governance, security and transparency,” Muttaqi wrote.

“No threat is posed to the region or world from Afghanistan and a pathway has been paved for positive cooperation.”

Muttaqi said Afghans “understand the concerns of the international community”, but that it was mandatory for all sides to take positive steps to build trust.

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He cautioned, however, that the economic situation could cause a mass exodus.

“If the current situation prevails, the Afghan government and people will face problems and will become a cause for mass migration in the region and world which will consequently create further humanitarian and economic issues,” he said.

Muttaqi noted that the United States risked further damaging its reputation in the country “and this will serve as the worst memory ingrained in Afghans at the hands of America”.

“We hope that the members of the American Congress will think thoroughly in this regard,” he added.

“I request… so that doors for future relations are opened, assets of Afghanistan’s Central Bank are unfrozen and sanctions on our banks are lifted.”

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