Afghanistan asks US Congress to release funds amid financial crisis

KABUL: Afghanistan has asked the United States Congress for the release of Afghanistan’s central bank assets frozen by the US government, as the Taliban-led country witnessing a financial crisis, according to local media on Wednesday.

In a letter to US Congress, the Afghan acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said that following the signing of the Doha Agreement, the Islamic Emirate and the US is no longer either in direct conflict or in military opposition, Tolo News reported.
“It is quite surprising that with the announcement of the new government, the administration of the United States of America slapped sanctions on the assets of our Central Bank. This goes against our expectations as well as the Doha Agreement,” the news channel citing letter reported.

“Currently the fundamental challenge of our people is financial security and the roots of this concern lead back to the freezing of assets of our people by the American government,” Tolo News reported citing the letter.

It further stated that the Islamic Emirate understand the concerns of the international community and the United States, saying that freezing Afghanistan’s assets cannot resolve any problem.

“We are of the belief that freezing Afghan assets cannot resolve the problem at hand neither is it the demand of the American people, hence your government must unfreeze our capital,” the letter stated.

The foreign ministry in the letter said if the Afghan assets remain frozen, problems in Afghanistan will increase given that winter is fast approaching. It urged the US Congress and the US government to review its decision and release the assets.

“We are concerned that 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 for the world,” the letter reads.

It further stated that the freeze of Afghan assets and the United States sanctions are damaging Afghanistan’s health, education and other civil services systems. And that damaging these systems will harm common Afghans.

Meanwhile, Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank in the country, has announced the auctioning of USD 10 million to prevent the plummeting move of the country’s currency Afghani, reported local media.

Afghani has hit the lowest level against the US dollar in the past twenty years currently, with 1 USD trading for 95 Afghani.

The auction will not be beneficial as the dollars will be trafficked abroad and will have less impact on the value of the country’s currency, said economic analysts expressing concerns over the central bank’s decision.

The announcement comes amid calls from the Taliban leaders to the international organisation to unfreeze the assets of Afghanistan.

Human Rights Watch has asked the United Nation to ease financial restrictions on Afghanistan as people are suffering from critical malnutrition, unemployment, and high prices of food and fuel, according to Khaama Press. (ANI)