Mehrabi urges central bank to defend $3.5b Afghan assets in US court

KABUL (TOLOnews): A member of the Afghan Central Bank’s supreme council, Shah Mehrabi, urged the Central Bank to engage with legal counsel to protect its assets which are litigated in US courts.
Mehrabi, who is also one of the four members of the Afghanistan’s Trust Fund in Switzerland, said the $3.5 billion assets that are litigated by the US courts need to be defended by a legal process.
“It is important that the Central Bank of Afghanistan engage United States council to protect its assets from the United States judicial process,” he said. “The longer the Central Bank interests go unrepresented, the greater the plaintiff’s incentives are to multiply their actions in the hope of finding a favorable court and successful legal approach, including lobbying congress for special legislation.”
Economists said that the Islamic Emirate needs to be recognized by the international community in order to pave the way for the release of the assets.
“The money belongs to the government of Afghanistan. Whenever the government is recognized, it can take the authority to use this account and that government has the right to engage in litigation for the money,” said Sayed Masoud, an economist.
“The assets which are deposited by the Central Bank and private banks, are used for supporting the monetary system and loans of a country,” said Seyar Qureshi, an economist.
The Islamic Emirate said that it will seek a legal approach to the release of Afghanistan’s assets if they are not freed.
“They seized the property of the people of Afghanistan, this doesn’t benefit them. Anyway, the Islamic Emirate will use all legal aspects to pave the way for the release of the assets, and it will then belong to the people of Afghanistan and return to the Central Bank of Afghanistan,” said the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden indicated to US Congress he is extending the executive order for the “national emergency with respect to the widespread humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the potential for a deepening economic collapse in Afghanistan.”