SAARC Chamber calls upon US to unfreeze Afghan forex reserves

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President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik Sunday urged the US to unfreeze all foreign reserves of Afghan instantly otherwise, economic crisis caused by draining coffers could trigger ever bigger catastrophe in memory in war ravaged country.

Talking to a delegation of traders from Mardan Shabbir Ahmad, he said”Pakistan’s principled position on the frozen Afghan foreign bank reserves remains that these are owned by the Afghan nation and these should be released.”

“The utilization of Afghan funds should be the sole sovereign decision of Afghanistan,” he added.

He said Pakistan has been advocating for the release of Afghanistan’s frozen money all along so that the economic crisis facing the war torn country could be addressed on top priority.He said humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan and its economic crisis were inextricably linked.

Iftikhar Ali Malik again urged the international community especially western countries and US to play constructive role in alleviating the sufferings of innocent Afghans and emphasised that “ time is the essence “.

He said”Actually frozen reserves are not meant for humanitarian aid but to back up the country’s currency,help in monetary policy and manage the country’s balance of payment.He said even Taliban and their opponents came together to criticise Biden decision as unjust and unfair.”

He said”No other country can make such confiscation decisions arbitrarily another country’s reserves.”

Leader of the delegation Shabbir Ahmad said all reserves held overseas were meant to facilitate international trade and stabilize financial sectors. He said”The people of Afghanistan are sole proprietor of these foreign reserves and US decision is one sided and doesn’t match with international law.”

He said even Human Rights Watch’s John Sifton categorically cautioned that “ directing $3.5 billion to humanitarian assistance for Afghan may sound generous but it should be remembered that the entire $7 billion already belonged to the Afghan people”.

While concluding he said that “No power in the world except Allah can undo law of nature” and said it’s high time to provide solace to grief stricken Afghans without loss of time otherwise history would take its course.

He thanked Iftikhar Ali Malik an octogenarian prominent trade leader of South Asia for sparing time for holding brain storming and thought provoking session for orientation of traders.

 

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