Exclusion of US bases from strategic pact a wise move: say analysts
KABUL (PAN): The exclusion of permanent military bases from the proposed strategic agreement between the US and Afghanistan is a wise decision because neighbouring countries have deep concern on the move, political analysts said on Monday.
Kabul University professor Wadir Sapai said since neighbouring countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan were worried about US forces prolonged stay in Afghanistan, both Afghan and US governments decided to drop the proposed bases from the pact.
He said there could be two reasons -- domestic differences and thorough deliberations over the pact with the US -- for excluding US military bases from the accord.
On Sunday, President Hamid Karzai said the strategic pact would be signed ahead of the Chicago conference and after an agreement on night raids, but the deal would not include creation of US military bases.
His remarks came days after Afghan and US officials struck a deal on the transfer of US-held detainees to Afghan government control, which remained a sticking point in the strategic accord.
Karzai said the general framework of the strategic agreement would be signed before the Chicago summit in May, however the deal has no mention of US military bases.
The President said another year was required to discuss the establishment of US military bases in the country as it would give adequate time to allow both sides to evaluate their responsibilities.
Another analyst, Ahmad Syedi, said Karzai had sought another year to sign the agreement in order to discuss the location, operations and technical specifications regarding the bases.
"But the exclusion cannot end differences with militants and interference of neighbours into Afghanistan’s internal affairs," he said.
The analysts also warned the brutal killing of civilians by a US soldier on Sunday would be a severe blow to the accord.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.