Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that the White House's decision to distribute funds seized from the country's ousted pro-Western government to the families of 9/11 victims is "unjust and unfair" and "an atrocity against Afghan people," The Associated Press reported.
When Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last summer, the Biden administration froze some $7 billion the U.S.-backed government had deposited at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.
According to The New York Times, the administration announced Friday that it plans to distribute half that money to relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and put the other half toward humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.
Karzai argued that all of the money should be returned to Afghanistan because "Afghan people are as much victims as those families who lost" loved ones on 9/11. He also said the money "does not belong to any government" but to "the people of Afghanistan," who are in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis.
The United Nations warned earlier this year that most of Afghanistan's 38 million people live below the poverty line and as many as 1 million Afghan children are in danger of starvation, Politico reported.