Special Wolesi Jirga session to debate security pacts
KABUL (Pajhwok): A special Wolesi Jirga session would discuss Afghanistan’s security accords with the United States and NATO tomorrow (Sunday), two weeks after the accords landed in the lower house for ratification.
A week ago, lawmakers said they would discuss the security agreements on Wednesday this week, but they decided on Saturday to debate the accords on Sunday during an extraordinary session.
On Sept 30, the new government inked the BSA and a separate Status of Security Forces Agreement (SOFA) with NATO allowing a residual force of nearly 10,000 international troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
The staying troops would train and advice Afghan security forces and American troops would also take part in counterinsurgency operations besides providing air support to Afghan operations when needed.
Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi told today’s session that the government had thrice urged the assembly to discuss the accord in general sessions.
The agreement would allow American forces to station in Kabul, Parwan, Balkh, Kandahar, Paktia, Herat, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces.
Ibrahimi said 35 lawmakers and the government had proposed discussing the security accords during general sessions.
Speaking at today session, lawmaker Bashir Ahmad Tinj from Faryab province said if the accords were not approved at the earliest, insecurity would further spread in the country.
But his colleague from central Parwan province, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, said they should not be in a hurry to approve the accords. “We should consider the interest of Afghan people not the US. There is no good in a hurry.”
The MP asked the house that as an independent organ, it should not act on every government’s recommendation.
Sadiqa Zada Neili from central Daikundi province said the US Embassy in Kabul invited Wolesi Jirga members every night to ask them to work for approval of the BSA. “I ask the administrative board to identify and expose these MPs,” she said.
Of 144 lawmakers present, 85 voted to approve debating the security accords in a special session on Sunday.
The BSA is currently being discussed by the Wolesi Jirga’s commission on international affairs.
The commission head, Abdul Qadir Zazai, said the panel was not ready to present the accord before the house for a decision on Sunday.
But Ibrahimi told him that now the decision had been taken to discuss the accords on Sunday and he should be ready for that.
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