MPs: Current crisis linked to 2002 agreement
The agreement was signed by then-Interior Minister Mohammad Younis Qanuni, then-commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) General David McKiernan, and then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.
Mohammad Younis Qanuni is currently the Kabul province representative in the Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of Afghanistan’s Parliament, and Abdullah Abdullah was President Hamid Karzai’s leading opponent in the 2009 presidential election. He currently leads the Hope and Change Coalition.
The existence of the agreement was first published by the Wesa newspaper.
According to Mohammad Zubair Shafiqi, Wesa’s editor in chief, the agreement stipulated that foreign troops could launch operations anywhere in Afghanistan at any time and could freely use Afghanistan’s airports. It also stated that officials should not publicly complain about casualties.
The agreement also allowed foreign troops to search suspicious Afghan houses. Troops furthermore would not have to pay taxes on items brought into Afghanistan, Shafiqi said.
Nearly a decade has passed since the agreement was signed, but Wolesi Jirga members are newly concerned about the issue.
Mohammad Zahir Ghani, the Baghlan province MP, insists that the agreement's signers must be prosecuted.
Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, the MP from the southern province of Helmand, also told Pajhwok Afghan News that those who signed the agreement should be put on trial, because they are responsible for the country’s current problems.
Abdul Raof Ibrahimi, the chief of Parliament, said that the MPs would send a letter to the government explaining their position and would summon a government representative to the Wolesi Jirga to answer the MPs’ questions.
Rangin Datfar Spantta, the president’s national security advisor, said last week that although the agreement was necessary for Afghanistan when it was signed, it is unconstitutional and must be rethought according to the possible strategic agreement between the US and Afghanistan.
Talks about a strategic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan are ongoing.
Afghanistan seeks full respect for Afghan independence and sovereignty, a halt to unilateral operations by foreign troops, and US support for the Afghan peace process as conditions of the strategic agreement.
Afghan authorities have also said the strategic agreement should not threaten Afghanistan’s regional neighbors.
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