Paktia elders back strategic pact with US
A consultative meeting between President Hamid Karzai and tribal elders and religious scholars from the province was held in the Presidency to discuss the agreement, the president's office said in a statement.
Karzai told the elders that the proposed agreement would be based on respect for the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The elders urged the President for construction of dams and other developmental projects in the province. Karzai responded the issues would be discussed at an upcoming Cabinet meeting.
More than 2,000 government officials and elders are scheduled to meet in mid-November in Kabul to discuss the pros and cons of the deal and a mechanism for peace negotiations with Afghan insurgents.
Participants, who will arrive in the capital four days ahead of the event, will be briefed on the objective behind the grand assembly. Beginning on Nov. 16, the deliberations will continue for four days.
All sitting parliamentarians, some former MPs, 30 percent members of each provincial council, representatives of civil society and special people, religious scholars and influential tribal elders will attend the jirga.
Safeguarding Afghanistan's national interests, an end to nighttime military operations, strict restrictions on international soldiers to avoid harming civilians and legalising their presence are some of the core conditions set by the government for signing the agreement.
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