Relations with IMF Cut Off: Afghan Finance Minister

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Afghan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal said on Monday that the government had cut off its ties with the IMF for blocking a payment of $70 million following the near collapse of the country’s largest private bank. Speaking to reporters in Kabul, Zakhilwal said that the ties were severed after the fund put forward “politically motivated” conditions for resolving the bank crisis. Problems surfaced last year when it was revealed that the bank gave billions of dollars in dubious loans to shareholders that include President Karzai’s elder brother. Meanwhile, the IMF said that the decision to block the payment was made by trust fund donors due to uncertainty arising from the Kabul Bank scandal.