June 26, 2022

“Give us back our money”: Taliban pressures US to return billions of dollars

Government Taliban Pushes some countries to free up billions of dollars owned by Afghanistan In financial reserves abroad.

Is in Afghanistan Billion dollars That money has been frozen in the assets of the US Federal Reserve and other central banks in Europe, but since the Taliban came back to power and ousted the government with the support of Western countries.

A spokesman for the country’s finance ministry said the government would respect human rights, including women’s education, as it sought new funding in addition to humanitarian aid, adding that it would provide only “a small relief”.

Under the first Taliban regime, from 1996 to 2001, women were largely excluded from paid work and education, and had to come with a male relative with their face covered when they left home.

“The money belongs to Afghanistan. Give us our own money, ”ministry spokesman Ahmed Wali Hakmal told Reuters. “Freezing this money is unethical and against all international law and values,” he added.

A member of the Central Bank of Afghanistan has called on European countries, including Germany, to release part of their reserves to stem the country’s economic downturn and prevent large-scale immigration to Europe.

“The situation is dire and the amount of money is declining,” Shah Mehrabi, a board member of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, told Reuters. “It simply came to our notice then.

“Europe will be severely affected if this money does not reach Afghanistan,” Mehrabi said. “People will be pessimistic. They will go to Europe,” he added.

The call for help comes as Afghanistan faces a collapse in its weak economy. With the withdrawal of US-led forces and many international donors, the country has run out of resources to fund three-quarters of public spending.

The local finance ministry said the daily tax collection was about $ 4.4 million.

The lack of feedback is due to the fact that Western powers have not officially recognized the Taliban government due to its anti-human rights stance.
Finance Ministry spokesman Ahmed Wali Hakmal said they would be respected, but within the framework of Islamic law, they would not include the rights of homosexuals.

“LGBT rights, which is against our Sharia law,” he said.

Shah Mehrabi, a board member of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, said that although the United States has said it will not release $ 9 billion in funding, European countries may.

Mehrabi said Germany had half a billion dollars in Afghan money and that he and other European countries should release those funds.

According to a member of the Afghanistan BC, the country needs $ 150 million a month to “avoid an immediate crisis” and local currency and prices will remain stable.

“If the reserves are frozen, Afghan importers will not be able to pay for their exports, banks will collapse, food will run out and supermarkets will be empty,” Mehrabi said.

As for Germany, Afghanistan said it had about $ 431 million in central bank reserves with Commerzbank and $ 94 million with central bank Bundesbank.

Bank for International Settlements, a group of central banks around the world based in Switzerland, holds about $ 660 million in Afghan currency.

The trio declined to comment following a Reuters request.

With information from Karin Strowhecker in London and James McKenzie in Islamabad