Kerry has no right to ‘extend’ Afghan govt term: MPs
KABUL (Pajhwok): Meshrano Jirga or Senate members on Sunday said US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks about “extension in the unity government’s term’ was a clear interference in Afghanistan’s affairs.
Kerry on Saturday said the unity government in Afghanistan would complete its five-year constitutional term as the political deal he brokered between the two Afghan leaders in September 2014 had no set expiry date.
Speaking at a joint press conference with President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul Kerry dismissed assumptions the unity government will end in September after its formation about one and a half years ago.
He said under the terms of the agreement, a loya jirga was expected to be held within two years to amend the Constitution, but there was no fixed deadline.
“It is a shame for the government that the US foreign secretary extends its term which is a clear interference in our affairs. I am not against the continuation of the unity government work, but such a decision has to be taken by our own people,” Senator Amina Afzali said.
“Kerry’s trip to Afghanistan was preplanned to fix our fate because the unity government has completed half of its term,” another Senator Hassan Hotak, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Fixing a date of the unity government term by the US secretary of state was interference in Afghanistan’s internal affairs and was against the Afghanistan constitution, another upper house member, Maulvi Mahauddin Musif, said.
“Now it has become clear that the key of the serial drama is with the US. We give sacrifices every day and our youth are leaving the country due to poverty. We can no more tolerate the war,” lawmaker Nadir Baloch said.
Juma Din Giyanwal ‘congratulated’ the unity government leaders, saying now it had been proved that their fate was in the hands of others.
“John Kerry has no right to interfere in our country’s affairs or extend the unity government mandate as it is against the constitution,” another member of Meshrano Jirga, Safiullah Hashimi, said.
Meanwhile, the Meshrano Jirga decided to withdraw bids offered by a Pakistani bank, Muslim Commercial Bank Limited, to purchase the New Kabul Bank.
On April, 5, 2016, the Ministry of Finance named two ‘preferred buyers’ of the New Kabul Bank --- Join-Stock Company and Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd.--- asking the two firms to submit their technical proposals in the next four months.
“Allowing the Pakistani bank to participate in the bidding process of New Kabul Bank is tantamount to national betrayal because Pakistan is a country that threatens our security, economy and people each day. So the bank should not be given a part in the bidding,” Senator Safiullah Hashimi said.
He asked the Meshrano Jirga’s administrative board to prevent the Pakistani bank’s participation in the bidding process to purchase the New Kabul Bank.
Another Senator Gul Ahmad Azami also criticized the Finance Ministry for short-listing the Pakistani bank, saying the government should not trust Pakistan anymore.
Meshrano JIrga Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said every foreign country could invest in Afghanistan, but said the Finance Ministry and Da Afghanistan (central) Bank should be careful.
He asked the government and the Finance Ministry to veto the participation of the Pakistani bank and let other companies participate in the bidding. Finally, the lawmakers with a majority vote decided not to let the bank participate in the bidding process.
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