Loya Jirga backs American bases for a decade
KABUL (PAN): The four-day traditional Loya Jirga on the strategic cooperation pact with the US concluded on Saturday with the release of a 76-article declaration, recommending the creation of American bases in the country for a decade.
Endorsing the agreement with the US was necessary for maintaining security and strengthening Afghanistan's economy, delegates at the four-day assembly said in the declaration, which underlines respect for the Afghan culture, traditions and religion.
Articles 2 and 3 of the non-binding declaration ask the US to respect Afghanistan's sovereignty, independence and constitution. Nighttime operations should be conducted exclusively by Afghan forces, the statement added.
While stressing the dismantling of parallel government structures, the participants agreed the Americans committing any crime in the country should be tried under Afghanistan's laws. The resolution said US military bases should be under Afghan control.
US forces should come to Afghanistan's rescue in the event of an attack from a neighbouring country, the participants suggested, saying the proposed bases be set up near the border and away from residential areas.
A delegation be sent to Pakistan to probe the death of High Peace Council chairman, Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani, it suggested, urging Islamabad to change its policy toward Afghanistan and honestly support the reconciliation drive.
While calling for identifying the sources of terrorism, the attendees asked the US not to use military bases for supporting militants. Americans were also told not to hold clandestine talks with the Taliban.
The participants recommended that peace talks with Afghan militants, with clear addresses, should continue. The process has slowed down in the wake of the Sept. 20 assassination of Prof. Rabbani.
The jirga suggested the agreement be implemented after it was approved by Parliament and the United Nations involved as a third party. The government was asked to analyse strategic cooperation through specialists.
Both sides will have the right to walk out of the security pact that will govern the presence of American troops after the 2014 withdrawal of NATO-led soldiers from the country.
More than 2,000 delegates, divided into 40 committees to discuss the subject, attended the four-day event, which took place under airtight security.
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