With the Afghan economic system, particularly in the internationally-connected capital Kabul, under collapse, and many in Kabul facing hunger, some are naively asking whether the US asset freeze is appropriate.

To clarify, the frozen assets did not belong to the Pakistan-backed Taliban, but were the foreign-held assets of the democratically elected government which they overthrew. The Taliban has no right to these funds, and even if they were unfrozen, if claimed by the Taliban, the funds would likely be held up in the American legal system, as such a claim would open the funds to claims from victims of the 9/11 attacks who have legal standing against the Taliban. Further, even if the Taliban were to ever received these funds, there is no guarantee that they would even use them to stabilize the markets, which may be viewed as haram if held under non-Islamic banks, instead of simply rearming their fighters.

As such, with Pakistan holding a religiously-oriented conference to pressure the US to repurpose what amount to mostly foreign-aid allotted to the previous government, and instead grant the funds to the theocratic rebels who spent the last two decades massacring both American troops and Afghan civilians, Pakistan would do better to fill the gap themselves.

To be clear, America should absolutely offer as much food and medical support as are logistically possible to the Afghan people to prevent famine, this year and as long as we have the capability to assist.

However, regarding the financial insolvency of the Afghan economy after what amounts to two decades of Pakistani intervention, proxy war and insurgency, as the main backers of the Taliban, Pakistan now seem to regret finding themselves responsible for the well-being of the regime. Should they face a financial shortfall, which they might, since most of the aid money the US squandered by sending to Pakistan simply lined the pockets of their military dictatorship, Imran Khan is also free to ask his benefactor, autocrat Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, who have also backed the Taliban regime, for assistance in stabilizing the country that Pakistan have sought to destabilize and weaken for so long.

Pakistan, now on its knees asking the Americans to foot the bill by providing cash to stabilize the markets, after the Pakistani ISI spent two decades and billions of dollars trying to do the opposite by sending weapons and militants to foment a southern coup, is a shallow demand that Pakistan will gain very little from.