Govt asked to respect Loya Jirga’s decision
KABUL (PAN): Some Meshrano Jirga members, lashing out at President Karzai for his refusal to sign the bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the US, on Tuesday asked the government to respect the Loya Jirga’s decision that called for an early signing of the deal.
The mass consultative Loya Jirga that began on Nov 21 and lasted four days in Kabul had been discussing the BSA, clause by clause.
On Sunday, the final day deliberations, the grand assembly overwhelmingly approved the agreement that allows thousands of US troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
"The Loya Jirga requests the president to sign the agreement before the end of 2013," a declaration reached at the end of the meeting said.
Opening the assembly on Thursday, President Karzai urged delegates to support the pact, but said he would not sign it until after the election scheduled for April 2014. The BSA also has to be approved by the Parliament.
But senators, including Abdul Baqi Baryal from Ghazni, Nisar Ahmad Haris from Kabul and Najibi Hussaini from Daikundi and others said the government should respect the jirga’s decision.
Lawmaker from central Bamyan in Meshrano Jirga, Hidayatullah Rehaee said Karzai should sign the pact as soon as possible. “Karzai wants America to back a candidate of his choice in the elections and after this assurance, he would sign the agreement,” he believed.
But Karzai has repeatedly said he would not back any specific candidate and has been insisting on a transparent election process.
However, Bismillah Afghanmal, who represents Kandahar province in the upper house, said Karzai’s recent speeches to the jirga were in Afghanistan interest. “Recent speeches by President Karzai show his national bravery”.
His colleague from southern Zabul province, Mohammad Daud, rejected Karzai’s assertion that “peace in Afghanistan is in the hand of America.”
Daud said if peace in Afghanistan was in US hands then what for the Peace High Council (HPC) had been established. He said the HPC should be dissolved if it could not achieve peace.
Senate chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said it was the government’s choice to accept the Loyar Jirga decision or not. “We will discuss the agreement and make a decision on it once it is sent to us,” he said.
Karzai refused to back down on his decision not to sign the deal in a meeting with the US national security adviser Susan Rice, who told Karzai his proposal to delay the signing until after next year's elections was "not viable".
The White House said President Karzai outlined new conditions for signing the agreement and indicated he is not prepared to sign it promptly
The Presidential Office in Kabul said President Karzai used the meeting with the US envoy to ask for further assurances from the US that its forces will not raid Afghan homes, and that it will help start stalled peace talks with the Taliban.
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