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US congressman introduces bill to prevent IMF resources from flowing to Taliban

ANI | Updated: Aug 21, 2021 04:59 IST


Washington DC [US], August 21 (ANI): A US congressman on Friday introduced legislation aimed at blocking the Taliban in Afghanistan from accessing the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
"US Congressman Andy Barr, Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, today introduced the IMF Afghan Recognition Assurance Act," the Congressman said in a statement.
This comes as IMF has announced to block Afghanistan's access to the emergency reserve worth USD 460 million as the Taliban's control over the country has drawn uncertainty for the country's future. The decision followed pressure from the Biden administration to ensure that the reserves did not reach the Taliban, New York Times reported.
This latest bill would instruct Washington to use influence at the IMF to advocate against recognizing the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under Taliban control. Moreover, this legislation would ensure that IMF funds be barred from any Afghani governmental entity actively involved in or promoting acts of terror or the suppression of human rights.
"The Administration's decision to withhold USD 450 million in SDR's is a start, but it does not fix the underlying concern that Taliban militants may still gain access to IMF resources," said Congressman Barr. "My bill would use American muscle to cut off Afghanistan from the IMF, unless there is a national interest to reverse that decision and we can be sure that the government in Afghanistan is protecting women's rights and not supporting terrorists."
Barr's introduction of the IMF Afghan Recognition Assurance Act comes just days after his letter to New York Fed President John C. Williams calling for the safeguarding of Afghani assets held in the US.
"Due to fast-moving events, I encourage you to engage in frequent coordination with Executive branch agencies in order to guarantee that only authorized representatives of Afghanistan, as recognized by the Secretary of State, enjoy de facto control of account access at the Fed, and that Afghanistan's account cannot benefit the Taliban's malign activities," the letter read.
"In addition, I urge you to scrutinize significant transactions involving Afghanistan's property at your institution, above and beyond automated procedures already in place, to detect, and potentially block, suspicious activity during this time of uncertainty," it added. (ANI)

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