Taliban PM Seeks Global Help While Blasting Former US-Backed Regime As Mass Starvation Looms

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Nov 28, 2021 - 11:00 AM

Afghanistan’s Acting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan is urging immediate international emergency help amid a spiraling economy and runaway inflation, while placing blame for Afghanistan's disastrous economic state squarely on the prior US-backed government of Ashraf Ghani, saying it was his administration's widespread corruption that ruined the country.

In what's his first public address to the nation since assuming office, the Taliban prime minister urged foreign countries to come to Kabul's aid, stressing the "Islamic Emirate wants good relations with all countries and economic relations with them."

Hassan also harped on the billions of dollars in as yet unreleased frozen funds blocked by US-led sanctions in what's become a familiar refrain of Taliban officials. He dubiously claimed in the speech that "if the Afghan money is released, all financial and economic problems will be solved."

Taliban Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, source: VOA News

The and other Taliban leaders have stressed that it's the Afghan people that will continue to suffer the immediate effects of Washington freezing the funds. Back in September, just a month after the chaotic US troop withdrawal and evacuation of thousands of civilians, the Taliban urged US leaders to "have a big heart" - and at least release humanitarian aid into the country, something the US has since authorized on a limited bases.

Specifically there's believed to be an estimated $9 billion in Afghan funds held in American banks, and additional reserves held in Europe and internationally, which have also been tentatively blocked based on the US and EU-led measures implemented in the wake of the Taliban takeover of Kabul in August.

According to a Bloomberg review of the worsening crisis, which could see masses of people facing starvation headed into the harsh winter months, the common Afghan is struggling to bay for basic staples due to inflation, also as society tries to emerge from near permanent wartime conditions:

The little-known Hassan, who assumed office in early September and previously headed the Taliban’s leadership council, made the speech Saturday as the country reels under worsening poverty with its economy in shambles and prices of essential goods soaring.

The United Nations has said recently that more than half the country’s nearly 40 million people are facing acute hunger, a million children could die as the harsh winter is setting in and warned by mid-2022 as much as 97% of the country could be living in poverty, up from about 72% in 2020.

Ironically, the US sanctions on Kabul and blockage of foreign aid are indeed most likely hitting the civilian population hardest as the war-time economy continues to spiral, also amid the expectation that Western funds will continue being blocked for at least many more months to come.

But despite prior attempts of the Taliban to present itself with a new "moderate" image, its hardline religious police have returned to the streets, and ghastly practices such as hanging executed bodies in public have returned, including cutting off hands for criminal offenses. The US has linked unfreezing the funds with the Taliban taking significant steps to establish a positive human rights record, and to show it's willing to fight terrorism, namely ISIS-K.