Afghan President Demands Money From Biden

Photo by Joel Heard on Unsplash

Biden better not listen to him.

The former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, pressed President Joe Biden to reconsider — and reverse — his decision to unfreeze the $3.5 billion in Afghan assets to give it to the families of 9/11 victims. The assets are held in the U.S.

Addressing reporters in Kabul, Karzai, who was President of Afghanistan for 13 years after the Taliban were ousted following the 9/11 attacks, said the Afghan people were also victims of terrorism.

However, in Biden’s decision, half of the $7 billion goes to families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The remaining $3.5 billion will go toward humanitarian efforts, as it is being placed in a trust fund to be distributed to humanitarian groups for Afghan relief and basic needs.

The amount allocated to U.S. families will be staying in the U.S. and be used to finance payments from lawsuits by U.S. terrorism victims still before the courts.

According to an Afghan news outlet, Tolo News, Karzai said, “No one punishes the victim” before saying that the funds should not be given to the country under Taliban rule but preserved for future generations of Afghans.

In a statement released by the White House, the funds being put in trust for Afghan humanitarian efforts “is designed to provide a path for the funds to reach the people of Afghanistan, while keeping them out of the hands of the Taliban and malicious actors.”

The move to only give half of the $7 billion has received plenty of criticism. The criticism centers around the fact that the $7 billion, primarily derived from donations for Afghanistan from the U.S. and other nations, should be released to Afghanistan. The argument is that 9/11 claimants under the U.S. legal system have a right to their day in court. The White House has pushed back on this criticism.

Since Biden oversaw a disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, the Arab nation has had to endure one of the worst humanitarian crises.

It has also been reported that the United Nations Development Program estimates 5 million children under five will die from hunger before the end of the year.