Demands in BSA made clear on US: Karzai
KABUL (PAN): In his latest public remarks after a series of meetings on the Bilateral Security Agreement with US Secretary of State John Kerry this week, President Hamid Karzai on Thursday said they had made it clear on the Americans the deal should guarantee a lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan and its protection from a foreign aggression.
In a radio speech to the nation, Karzai said Kabul and Washington spent one year continuously holding talks on the agreement’s text and the parleys were still in place on the document, which would determine US troops’ fate in a post-2014 Afghanistan.
As part of the deal, the president said Afghanistan’s priorities and interests included a fully-respected national sovereignty, the safety of Afghan homes and respect to their sanctity. “Our demands are an end to civilian casualties, unilateral military operations by foreign troops, as well as the definition of a foreign aggression.”
“We have in clear words asked the US that under which circumstances its residual soldiers will assist Afghanistan… what situation they will call a foreign intervention --- sending tanks and aircrafts into Afghanistan or covert terrorism activities?.”
Karzai claimed they had confidently secured Afghanistan’s interests in the talks on the security pact, currently referred a proposed Loya Jirga for a final decision.
The president said he had lengthy talks with Kerry on a potentially deal-breaking issue of jurisdiction over American forces, who would stay in Afghanistan after 2014 if the deal signed.
“We have told the American side that the issue of jurisdiction is beyond the Afghan government authority, it is the authority of Afghanistan people who will implement it through a consultative Loya Jirga and it is the legal right of the country’s parliament to study the agreement and make a decision.”
“I shall repeat only the establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan can guarantee the security agreement, which will be useless if Afghans have no peace in their country.”
Karzai assured convening an inclusive Loya Jirga over the next one month, saying the assembly would represent all Afghans from across the nation to enter an open discussion on the agreement.
He said the grand assembly of tribal elders should thoroughly investigate the accord, its merits and demerits before reaching a final decision that could guarantee Afghanistan’s wellbeing.
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