Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Sunday at a press conference in Kabul called on the US President Joe Biden to reverse his decision on Afghan bank’s funds and return all the fund to Afghanistan.
Karzai said the fund belongs to no governments, but to the people of Afghanistan and all of it should be returned to Afghanistan’s central bank and should be kept there.
Karzai’s remarks follow an Executive Order signed by Biden on Friday which facilitates access to $3.5 billion of the frozen assets for addressing the humanitarian crisis and economic situation in Afghanistan. From the total $7 billion, $3.5 billion will remain in the US and is subject to the ongoing litigation by victims of the 9/11 attacks, according to White House.
Karzai said the people of Afghanistan are victims of terrorism as are the people of the United States. “No one punishes the victim,” he said, emphasizing that the money of the people of Afghanistan should not be given to victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Karzai said Osama bin Laden was not brought to Afghanistan by Afghans, but by foreigners. He said Osama had come to Afghanistan from Pakistan and then returned and was killed there, but today the people of Afghanistan pays the price for his actions.
According to Karzai, if the frozen funds are returned, the Islamic Emirate should not spend it because it is not for daily expenses. He said it should be preserved and should be added to it for the future generations.
Biden’s Executive Order has met sharp reactions inside and outside the country.
Human Rights Watch said the Afghan assets belong to the people of Afghanistan and that it should not be distributed to others as the country is already struggling with a fractured economic system.
“Directing $3.5 billion to humanitarian assistance for Afghans may sound generous, but it should be remembered that the entire $7 billion already legally belonged to the Afghan people, said John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch. “And yet, even if the US gave it to a humanitarian trust fund, current restrictions on Afghanistan’s banking sector make it virtually impossible to send or spend the money inside the country.”
“So the world's richest country has decided to rob the world's poorest country in the name of justice. A fitting end to the War on Terror,” said Barnett R. Rubin, a well-known American researcher.
Afghanistan’s central bank also in a statement on Saturday said giving the money to others under the name of compensation or humanitarian aid is not acceptable.
Karzai also at the press conference said all schools and universities should be reopened soon, stressing that a country without educated people cannot make progress.