Ahead of UN talks, FM Qureshi calls for unfreezing of Afghan assets to avoid economic collapse
NEW YORK – Pakistan urged the international community on Monday not to take steps that might lead to the economic collapse, as Islamabad called for unfreezing the Afghan assets that were blocked following the Taliban’s takeover.
Ahead of talks on the war-raked country at the UN General Assembly, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed averting an even deeper economic collapse of Afghanistan that could trigger a humanitarian catastrophe.
Speaking with reporters in NYC, Qureshi said he doesn’t understand the reason behind raising new funds to avert a crisis amid holding on to the money that belongs to Afghans and they cannot use it. “I think freezing the assets is not helping the situation, and I would strongly urge the powers that be that they should revisit that policy and think of unfreezing assets,” he maintained while stating it as a ‘confidence-building measure’ that will incentivize positive behavior of the new setup.
The US froze around $9.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets and international lenders have stayed clear of land lock country, wary of providing money that could be used by the Taliban.
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FM Qureshi said it was premature to establish formal ties and I don't think anybody is in a rush to recognize at this stage while the Taliban should keep an eye on that.
Taliban needs to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion if they want recognition, he opined while adding that he saw ‘positives’ from the new Afghan setup including a declaration of amnesty and a willingness to include ethnic groups other than the group's dominant Pashtuns.
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