House panel heads storm out of meeting
KABUL (PAN): Some heads of Wolesi Jirga commissions on Tuesday walked out of a joint meeting in protest against the administrative board’s refusal to include the Afghan-US strategic pact in the house agenda for next week.
Mir Dad Khan Nijrani, the interior security commission head who stormed out of the meeting, told Pajhwok Afghan News the administrative board was trying to excise the the deal from the lower house agenda.
As a result, he said, heads of other panels, including communications and transport, privileges, Kuchis, international affairs and Risalat, left the meeting in protest.
The communications and transport panel chief, Qaes Hassan, confirmed Nijrani’s statement, calling the Afghan-US strategic agreement a matter of national interest. He said the protesting lawmakers would take up the issue on the assembly floor on Wednesday.
The incident comes amid reports that Iranian officials were contacting Afghan legislators to convince them into blocking the approval of the pact that was signed between President Hamid Karzai and his American counterpart Barack Obama last month.
After being ratified by foreign affairs commissions of the two houses, the agreement will be sent to the lower house for approval before it goes to the Senate.
Second Deputy Speaker Nimatullah Ghafari said he was unaware of the walkout by panel heads from the meeting. He suggested the agreement could be included in the assembly agenda.
He said National Security Advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta would be called to the house to answer lawmakers’ questions. He rejected the allegation that the administrative board firmed up the house agenda unilaterally.
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