The U.S. refusal to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, coupled with sanctions and frozen assets, could push the country into chaos and threaten Pakistan’s stability, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday.
Khan said in an interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” that the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, caused in part by the abrupt cancellation of foreign aid to the country after the Taliban took over last year, has reverberated in neighboring Pakistan. He said foreign governments have no choice but to try and work with the Taliban to avert a larger crisis.
“If the banking system has no liquidity because of sanctions, then the worry is that Afghanistan could go into chaos.” he said. “Our best hope is that a stable Afghanistan will ensure stability and peace in Pakistan.”
Pakistan has seen a resurgence in militant attacks since the Taliban took control, increasing worries for Khan, who is already trying to overcome an economic crisis with the help of Chinese investment.
On Friday, President Joe Biden directed U.S. financial institutions to move $7 billion in Afghan central bank funds into a consolidated account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The U.S. will tap $3.5 billion for assistance to the Afghan people and another $3.5 billion would remain in the U.S., pending ongoing litigation brought by the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Afghanistan’s central bank called the move an “injustice.” – Bloomberg.