Participants seek full info on agreement
Although 40 committees were constituted to discuss the agreement, members of the traditional tribal gathering were yet to receive copies of the draft, said Adila Kabiri, a participant from Herat province.
She said the documents distributed to some of the participants outlined demands of the Afghan government for signing the pact. The papers contained no information regarding US views, she added.
Maulvi Khaliq Dad, a participant from Paktia, also said a complete copy of the strategic pact was yet to be submitted to participants. "It has added to our concerns whether or not the deal will benefit Afghanistan in a tangible manner."
Ruqia Achakzai, the Kandahar women's affairs director, asked: "How we can give our recommendations when we are unaware of the US position."
The participants insisted the pact should be signed only if Afghanistan's sovereignty was respected and its national interests protected.
President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday told participants that Afghanistan's relationship with the US should be one between two sovereign countries, saying he wanted national sovereignty to be protected at all costs.
Karzai said that Afghanistan was prepared to sign the agreement, but the US must stop night raids and building parallel institutions in the country. He added they would allow the US to establish military bases only if it was ready to meet Afghanistan's conditions.
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