Committee 39 dissolved to avoid pimp taunts
KABUL (PAN): One of the 40 working committees tasked with firming the agenda for the traditional Loya Jirga on a strategic pact with the United States was dissolved for cultural reasons on Thursday, officials said.
The 40 bodies are discussing political, economic and military aspects of the deal, providing for US military bases in Afghanistan. Copies of the draft agreement were distributed to jirga members on the opening day.
Members will submit their written recommendations to committee heads. The suggestions will be studied by the jirga chairman and participants before being signed.
Committee No 39 had to be dissolved after some of its members said the digit was a euphemism for pimps in the local parlance. As a result, delegates asked organisers to omit assigning the number to their committee.
Since the digit 39 is generally associated with pimps, most Afghans avoid accepting a mobile number, car licence plate or other number containing the digits.
Gul Bacha Majidi, a participant of the traditional tribal gathering, said members of the body chose to stay away from a scheduled meeting to avoid being branded as pimps. To avert procedural complications, he added, the committee had to be disbanded.
"Our society has this misplaced perception about the number 39, and we are part of this society. Personally, I'm averse to this view," he told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Loya Jirga spokeswoman Safia Siddiqui told a news conference that Committee No 41 had to be set up in line with members' suggestion. She viewed the controversy as a non-issue, asking journalists not to highlight it.
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