MPs reject preparatory commission as illegal
President Hamid Karzai has appointed Sibghatullah Mujaddedi as head of the preparatory commission for the Jirga, a traditional conference which would be convened to issue a decision on signing the strategic cooperation pact between Afghanistan and the US.
A lawmaker from Kabul, Mohammad Mohaqqiq, told the house there was no room for a traditional jirga in the constitution, which recognises the Loya Jirga as "the highest manifestation of the will of the people of Afghanistan."
Muhaqqiq said the traditional jirga would operate in parallel to Parliament.
Another MP from southern Kandahar province, Shakiba Hashmi, agreed that convening the traditional jirga would violate the constitution. "The President wants to serve his own interests by calling such a jirga into session," she said, calling on fellow lawmakers not to attend the assembly.
A number of others legislators expressed similar sentiments, calling the gathering illegal and saying they would not attend.
Deputy Speaker Khalid Pakhtun, who presided over the session, told the house that lawmakers had prepared a draft resolution to oppose the jirga.
He explained that the resolution called the traditional jirga unconstitutional and said parliamentarians would not attend it. Lawmakers also wanted to know how much money the administration planned to spend to arrange the jirga.
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