The former president of Afghanistan called a White House order to unfreeze $3.5 billion of Afghan assets held in the U.S. to give to the families of 9/11 victims an “atrocity” on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.
“The people of Afghanistan share the pain of the American people, share the pain of the families and loved ones of those who died, who lost their lives in the tragedy of September 11,” former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said at a news conference, Al Jazeera reported.
“We commiserate with them [but] Afghan people are as much victims as those families who lost their lives,” he said. “Withholding money or seizing money from the people of Afghanistan in their name is unjust and unfair and an atrocity against Afghan people.”
President Joe Biden signed the order, which freed over $7 billion in Afghan assets to be divided between the victims’ families and humanitarian aid to Afghans, on Friday. September 11 victims and their families have legal claims against the Taliban and the assets in the U.S. banking system, Al Jazeera reported.
The $3.5 billion has been set aside for a U.S. court to determine if it could be used to settle the legal claims by the victims and their families, Al Jazeera reported. The court would also reportedly have to sign off on the money going toward humanitarian aid.
Biden’s order bypassed the Taliban, now controlling Afghanistan, and it set the funds for humanitarian aid in a trust that would be used to help the Afghan people, the Associated Press reported. (RELATED: Sullivan Quashes Comparisons Of Afghanistan And Ukraine, Rejects ‘Miscalculation’ Claims)
Karzai said the court should return all of the money to the Afghan people, Al Jazeera reported. He also voiced his opposition to giving control of the humanitarian aid to international aid organizations, the AP reported.
“This money does not belong to any government … this money belongs to the people of Afghanistan,” Karzai said, Al Jazeera reported.
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