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Afghanistan: Taliban calls on international community to unfreeze reserves to aid earthquake victims

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The Taliban recently called on international governments to lift the freezing on the country’s reserves and financial assets following an earthquake that killed hundreds and displaced others. The insurgent group’s call also comes as they pledge not to intervene with the humanitarian aid that would be sent to Afghans.

The Taliban-backed administration of Afghanistan has called on the international community to lift bank sanctions and unfreeze the country’s reserves and assets to deal with the recent earthquake in the country that killed over 1,000 people and displaced thousands more.

This comes as the country is already seeing an economic crisis due to the insurgent group retaking control following the West’s military withdrawal last year.

“The Islamic Emirate is asking the world to give the Afghans their most basic right, which is their right to life and that is through lifting the sanctions and unfreezing our assets and also giving assistance,” said the Taliban-backed Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi, who told Reuters in an interview that saving the lives of Afghans must be a top priority.

The earthquake hit Afghanistan’s eastern region Wednesday last week, destroying or hitting 10,000 homes and injuring around 2,000 people.

The insurgent group’s request comes amidst complaints from aid groups citing incidents in the past when the Taliban would attempt to divert aid to areas and to people who aligned with their beliefs or even seized goods to distribute amongst themselves and claim the credit.

Senior Taliban official Khan Mohammad Ahmad of Afghanistan’s Paktika province said international organizations helping with relief efforts will not be interfered with.

Last week, India and Pakistan sent humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan following the earthquake. New Delhi said it sent a technical team to Afghanistan’s capital Kabul to coordinate the delivery of the much-needed aid. Trucks of food and necessities also arrived in Afghanistan from Pakistan.

India’s foreign ministry said Thursday last week that it sent 27 tons of supplies on two flights to be distributed to the international aid agencies and the Afghan Red Crescent Society. The ministry also said its team was sent to the Indian embassy in Kabul.

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