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Karzai labels Biden order on frozen funds an atrocity

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The former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai called President Biden’s plans of freeing up U.S.-held Afghan government funds to compensate 9/11 victims families an “atrocity” against Afghans.

As The Associated Press reported, the former Afghan leader made his condemnation known during a press conference on Sunday, saying it was “unjust and unfair” to the Afghan people because they too were victimized by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Last week, Biden issued an executive order that would split $7 billion of funds from Afghanistan’s central bank between humanitarian aid  and compensation for the families of 9/11 victims some of whom have cases against the Taliban. If the transfer is approved, the funds would go towards providing aid to the Afghan people.

“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,” Karzai said.

“We commiserate with them (but) Afghan people are as much victims as those families who lost their lives. … Withholding money or seizing money from the people of Afghanistan in their name is unjust and unfair and an atrocity against Afghan people.”

The funds have been frozen since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August. Many international organizations moved to cut off Afghanistan’s access to international resources and funds after the Taliban took control due to the question over the organization’s recognition as an official government.

Karzai, who served as the democratically-elected leader of Afghanistan for nearly 13 years, said the money should be returned to the people of Afghanistan.

“This money does not belong to any government … this money belongs to the people of Afghanistan,” said Karzai, also pushing back against the notion of using the funds for humanitarian aid.

“You give us our own money so that it can be spent for those foreigners who come here, to pay their salaries, to give it to (non-governmental organizations),” said Karzai.

Tags Afghanistan Hamid Karzai Joe Biden Taliban War in Afghanistan

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