Americans seek 9 bases in 8 provinces
KABUL (PAN): The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) text, which was placed before the Loya Jirga for approval today, shows nine bases would be given to American forces for use in eight provinces, if the deal was signed.
Released a day earlier by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 22-page text, available in Pashto, Dari and English languages, has 26 articles.
Afghanistan will provide the US forces access and use of Kabul, Bagram, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Shorab (Helmand), Gardez, Jalalabad and Shindand airbases.
Official points of embarkation and debarkation are Bagram Airbase, Kabul International Airport, Kandahar Airbase, Shindand Airbase, Herat International Airport, Mazar-i-Sharif Airport and Shorab (Helmand).
Land ports include Torkham in eastern Nangarhar province, Spin Boldak in southern Kandahar province, Torghondi in western Herat, Hairatan in northern Balkh and She Khan Bandar in Kunduz province.
Inaugurating the consultative Loya Jirga, President Karzai told delegates up to 15,000 foreign troops could stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 if the pact was signed.
About 2,500 tribal chiefs, chieftains and dignitaries are gathered in Kabul for a four-day discussion of the bilateral security agreement.
"If signed... 10,000 to 15,000 of their troops will stay. When I say their troops, I don’t mean the Americans (alone)," Karzai told delegates.
Article 7 of BSA says Afghanistan hereby provides access to and use of the agreed facilities and areas, as defined in paragraph 7 of Article 2, solely to implement the purpose and scope of this agreement, taking into account locations of ANDSF and the local Afghan population.
Clause 2 of the article states under this agreement, Afghanistan authorises United States forces to exercise all rights and authorities within the agreed facilities and areas that are necessary for their use, operation, defence, or control, including the right to undertake new construction works.
The Article 7th clause three states Afghanistan allows US forces to control entry to agreed facilities and areas that have been provided for their exclusive use, and to coordinate entry with Afghan authorities at joint-use agreed facilities and areas.
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