BSA signing to stem capital flight: ACCI
KABUL (PAN): The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on Tuesday pleaded with the government for signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States to prevent capital flight from the country.
On Monday evening, President Hamid Karzai and America's National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice failed to narrow down Kabul-Washington differences over the BSA signing on a future US military presence in Afghanistan.
Following talks between the two sides for a year, a four-day Loya Jirga on Sunday overwhelmingly endorsed the BSA text, asking the Afghan government to sign the deal before the April elections. But Karzai has refused to sign the pact soon.
Addressing a news conference in Kabul today, ACCI head Mohammed Qurban Haqjo said the president should not take a sentimental decision on the vital security accord. He insisted the BSA was in Afghanistan’s interest, demanding its early signing.
“We are going through a sensitive phase, with the NATO combat mission set to end in 2014. But we need a continued foreign military presence for stability in our country,” remarked Haqjo, who reiterated signing the deal was essential for stopping capital flight.
According to him, the economy of Afghanistan is faced with a host of problems, including widespread unemployment. If the deal was not signed, the country might return to the pre-2001 period, the ACCI president warned.
The latest survey by ACCI indicated the manufacturing sector in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar provinces was in better shape than in 2012. But the construction activity has slowed down.
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