Security pact with US to be signed on Sept. 30
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): The incoming Afghan president is set to sign a long-delayed security pact with the United States on Tuesday, a day after he is scheduled to take over, an official said on Saturday.
National Security Advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta informed an international conference in Herat City that Dr. Ashraf Ghani would ink the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) after his inauguration on Monday.
The agreement, which President Hamid Karzai refused to sign despite its approval by a consultative loya jirga last year in November last year, provides for a residual US force to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014 when all NATO’s combat troops are scheduled to leave.
“Given that there’s great consistency in terms of his commitment to do it and that it’s been fully negotiated, we expect it will be signed in a matter of days after the new administration starts,” a senior State Department official told reporters this week.
Expressing discontent with the current anti-terrorism strategy, Spanta said the scourge emerged as a global threat that needed to be tackled in new ways. Over the last 13 years, the war on terror was being fought in Afghanistan but militants had become stronger since 2012, he claimed.
In a clear reference to Pakistan, Spanta said training camps and supply lines of the militants remained intact in the region. Despite supreme sacrifices by national and international forces, winning the war stayed a distant dream, the official believed.
“Al-Qaida, Haqqani network, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Junbish-i-Turkistan East, Junbish Islami Uzbekistan, Punjabi Taliban, Jaish-i-Muhammad, Lashkar-i-Umar, Sipah-i-Sahaba, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Harkat-i-Mujahideen and many more outfits are active in Pakistan but the world has turned a blind eye towards them,” Spanta lamented.
The national security advisor welcomed the international community’s move to blacklist the terrorist group ISIS and attack their basis in Iraq and Syria. He, however, questioned why Al-Qaida’s bases were not targeted in the region.
Over the last few weeks in their conversation with US leadership, both Ghani and Dr. Abdullah called the agreement a key part of their agendas, promising to sign it as soon as practical. No one has so far suggested reopening issues within the agreement.
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