Protest over Biden’s
decision on frozen assets

KABUL (Tolo News): A number of citizens, businessmen and money exchangers in Kabul and other provinces held protests over the recent decision of the US president to allocate half of Afghanistan’s frozen funds for ongoing litigation claims by victims of the 9/11 attacks, saying that Biden’s decision is illegal and unfair.
The protesters, who urged the United States to release all of Afghanistan’s money, called on the World Bank and the United Nations to reconsider the US decision on the assets of the Afghan people. “No one has the right to use this money or give it to anyone else,” said Mohammad Younes Momand, head of the Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI).
“It’s a completely unfair act to take the compensation from the Afghan money and give it to the victims of 9/11,” said Hajj Mir Afghan Safi, head of the Sarai Shahzada money changers union. The protesters also said that if the United States does not change its decision their protests will escalate.
“This is the money of the Afghan people, which includes a lot of capital of Afghan traders. Our protest is over Biden’s decision,” said Abdul Rahman Zirak, a spokesman of the Sarai Shahzada money changers’ union. “Biden’s decision is unfair, this is the money of the Afghan people, and the United States cannot give it to others,” said Abdul Rahman Hudawal, head of the Nangarhar Money Exchangers’ Union. “This money has nothing to do with the Taliban, this money has nothing to do with al-Qaeda, this money belongs to the people of Afghanistan,” said Bakhtgul Mangal, a money exchanger in Khost province.
Earlier, the Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) said in a press conference that $2 billion of Afghanistan’s frozen funds are related to the private sector, and that in order for the private sector to function better in Afghanistan, the United States should release all of Afghanistan’s frozen money.
Meanwhile, hundreds of money exchangers and members of the private sector protested in Kabul against US President Joe Biden’s decision to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets to pay victims of the 9/11 attack and use for humanitarian aid. The protestors called on the US to release all Afghan assets and return the full amount of about $7 billion to Afghanistan.
They also urged the international community to take steps to help secure the funds for Afghanistan. “We want the United Nations to hand over all Afghanistan’s money to Afghans. We have a lot of problems,” said Rohullah, one protestor. “The US president’s decision contravenes all international laws. We Afghans never handed over our assets to Americans,” said Abdul Matin, another protestor.
Members of the private sector and money exchangers union said that Afghans were not involved in the 9/11 attacks and that the US can’t hand over Afghanistan’s money to pay 9/11 attack victims. “We urge the international community to hand over Afghanistan’s money. The US president’s decision is against all laws,” said Qazi Mir Afghan Safi, head of the money exchangers’ union.
“The $3.5 billion that Biden allocated for compensation [for 9/11 victims] is rightfully the money of Afghans and should be returned,” said Abdurahman Zerak, a member of the money exchange market, Sarai Shahzada. Economic analysts meanwhile have also called on the United Nations (UN) to prevent the implementation of Biden’s decision.
“The US president’s decision is very cruel and controlling. It contradicts all international political and economic principles, it is not forgivable,” said Taj Mohammad Talish, an economic analyst. Afghan officials meanwhile say that Biden’s decision will have an adverse effect on the country’s already struggling economy and that poverty levels will increase considerably.