WJ session adjourned amid uproar over Baghlan pact
The Wolesi Jirga (WJ) session ended on an inconclusive note after some lawmakers entered a verbal clash.
The Presidential Palace appointed a five-member delegation led by Border and Tribal affairs Minister Mohammad Gulab Mangal last month to evaluate the security situation in Dand Ghori area near the provincial capital of Baghlan province.
Mangal told the Wolesi Jirga during their 10-day stay in Baghlan, they spoke to people from different walks of life and finally concluded an agreement with some elders of Dand Ghori.
Under the agreement, local elders would not allow Taliban to stage attacks on Qarghan security check posts and security forces would also not detain anyone without permission of local elders.
Some provincial council members in Baghlan province had blasted the agreement, saying the accord meant surrendering Dand Ghori locality to insurgents. But Mangal insisted the accord had been signed with local elders and no law had been violated.
Mangal said the delegation had been appointed by the President for evaluation of the security situation in Dand Ghori and the accord was signed with local elders in the presence of civil and military officials.
After nine months of clashes, he added, the situation had improved in Dand Ghori. He said during the nine months of unrest, 52 civilians had been killed and 116 more wounded. About 226 houses and 22 mosques were damaged and government suffered huge financial losses, he added.
He denied security forces had retreated from Dehna Ghori locality, saying “throughout my life I have defended our national values and in the past ten years of my service I haven’t done anything against our national interest. Based on the 9th article of the agreement if the security forces have evidence they can act without informing local elders.”
He said such agreements were beneficial. “The officials in Baghlan can use the temporary peace that has been ensured as a result of this agreement to bring permanent peace.”
Haji Allah Gul Mujahid, a lawmaker from Kabul, welcomed the accord, saying war could not bring peace. He said the Dehna Ghori experience should be followed in other parts of the country as well.
Eng. Sahib Khan from Logar also voiced support for the agreement. “Now as it has become clear that the agreement had been signed with local people, then there is no issue. This is for the benefit of Dand Ghori residents.”
MP Hamid Lalai from Kandahar province also supported the agreement, saying based on it the residents would not allow Taliban’s activities in their area.
Addressing jihadi commanders who gathered in Parwan province on Thursday, he said: “Leave aside forming armed groups, stand by the government and support its programmes.”
But some other lawmakers voiced strong opposition to the Dand Ghori agreement.
Farhad Azimi from northern Balkh province said: “Past experience shows such agreements had failed. Signing the agreement with local elders who have no authority is nothing but giving opportunity to Taliban.”
Ahmad Behzad from Herat province called the agreement as giving concession to the insurgents. “Dand Ghori has become a resting, equipping and financing centre for Taliban.”
He said the agreement did not benefit the government and the people and it was nothing but a project to turn northern Afghanistan into northern Waziristan.
Ahmad Shah Ramazan, another MP, said: “The Taliban who face defeat in Baghlan, Kunduz, Samangan and other provinces have taken refuge in Dand Ghori. The place has become a safe haven for them.”
He admitted security had been ensured in the area, but said there was no guarantee the Taliban would not stage attacks on highways or on government forces.
Dr. Mohiuddin Mahdi, another lawmaker from Baghlan province, addressing the borders minster, said: “based on the president’s directions, you should have evaluated the situation not ceding a part of the Afghan soil to the insurgents.”
“You have committed national treason with this work. Afghanistan is an undivided country but you have divided it,” he said, calling for the minister to be referred to the Attorney General’s Office.
At the end of the session, lawmakers Dr. Zaheer Sadat, Ahamd Shah Ramazan and Hamidzai Lalai started exchanging hot words.
As their verbal clashes intensified, Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi adjourned the session without any decision.
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