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MPs seek details of strategic accord with US

MPs seek details of strategic accord with US

Jun 08, 2011 - 19:13

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): A number of Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, lower house of Parliament, members on Wednesday sought details of a draft strategic cooperation agreement between Afghanistaninfo-icon and the United States.

President Hamid Karzai has already said the agreement would be sent to Parliament for approval after being discussed by the traditional Loya Jirgainfo-icon, expected to be called into session to give its opinion on the accord.

Officials say the restoration of security, respect for the country's sovereignty and no use of its soil against any foreign country are some of the key conditions the government has presented to the US.

But Mohammad Sarwar Usmani, a lawmaker from Farah province, said Article 7 of the agreement be discussed before it was deliberated upon by the Loya Jirga. He wanted to know what exactly the two countries wanted by entering the pact.

The legislator insisted public representatives must be kept informed of every step taken toward finalising the agreement. "Bringing the agreement to the Wolesi Jirga for a debate will be of no use after the signing of the deal," he remarked.

Another MP from western Herat province, Khalilullah Shaheedzada, said contents of the accord should be presented to legislators. He added it was a matter of importance for the country, and the agreement had to be thoroughly discussed.

A public representative from Paktia, Gul Badshah Majeedi, said their demand was not premature. "It is a big national issue on which Parliament should be taken into confidence," he continued.

But MP Sherwali Wardak said the draft had not yet reached the house and floating suggestions in this regard were not right.

Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi rejected members' demand as incorrect, saying they should wait until the process reached maturity. He said it was their job to reject or endorse the agreement.



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