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Afghanistan’s Private Sector Urges US to Return Frozen Assets to Central Bank

KABUL: The business community of Afghanistan has urged upon the United States to return the frozen assets of the country to Afghanistan’s Central Bank. The United States, it may be recalled, had frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank and stopped shipments of cash to the nation when Taliban took control of Kabul on Aug 15. The US Treasury said it will not ease sanctions on Taliban or loosen restrictions on its access to global financial system.

Members of all chambers of commerce and Industry had gathered in Kabul to raise their concerns with the international community about the problems they face as a result of frozen finances of Afghanistan. They said without the release of this money, Afghanistan will not be able to maintain its dominance in the economic market.

The business community said that the major chunk of $9.3 billion, frozen by the United States, belonged to the private sector of Afghanistan, and if the money wasn’t released, the country was set to face major humanitarian and economic crisis.

Younus Mohammad, the Deputy Chairman, Chamber of Commerce and Investment was quoted by the Afghan media as having said that since the major chunk of private sector was stuck in the United States, the Biden administration must release it and shouldn’t consider the same assets as property of the Kabul government.

The vice president of the Afghanistan Private Sector Chambers Federation was quoted as having said that since the day the money was withheld, Afghan banks had not been able to withdraw or transfer a cent of a dollar. He urged upon the US government to release the money of the Afghan people and not to allow Afghanistan to face an economic crisis.

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