Rift over raids on civilian house persists
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan and the United States have yet to resolve differences over a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) article concerning raids on civilian houses, a government official said on Sunday.
The official, who did not want to be named, told Pajhwok Afghan News that President Hamid Karzai continued to cling to his stance that such US military operations must stop permanently.
On the other hand, the source revealed, the Americans insist on conducting the operations to combat the scourge of terrorism. The ticklish issue had been the subject of discussions over the past three days, he said.
Privy to negotiations on the subject, the official said that the Americans wanted the Afghan government to allow raids on civilian houses under special circumstances, or when absolutely necessary.
For its part, the Karzai administration has reportedly refused to permit operations that violated people’s privacy and constitutionally-guaranteed rights. “But talks are ongoing to break this stalemate,” the official continued.
Also on Sunday, President Karzai’s Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta briefed the National Security Council (NSC) on the sticking points in the deal. The meeting, chaired by the president, also discussed preparations for a Loya Jirga on the issue.
The tribal assembly, to be attended by nearly 3,000 tribal elders and public representatives, is scheduled to convene later this week in Kabul to confer on the BSA text and advise the government on whether or not the pact should be signed.
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