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Jirga debates mechanism for peace talks

Jirga debates mechanism for peace talks

Nov 18, 2011 - 10:44

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The traditional Loya Jirgainfo-icon on the strategic cooperation agreement with the United States started a debate on a mechanism for peace negotiations with Afghan insurgents on Friday.

The Loya Jirga Secretariat provided delegates with written information on the government's reconciliation campaign a day earlier, said a spokeswoman for the grand tribal assembly.

As the gathering entered its third day, Safia Siddiqui told Pajhwok Afghan News that members would discuss the peace drive before submitting their recommendations to committee heads.

Forty committees have been set up to deliberate on political, economic and military aspects of the strategic deal with the US and a mechanism for talks with the Talibaninfo-icon.

Many participants have objected to the US decision to keep secret its conditions for the agreement. The Americans did not want their terms to be disclosed to the media, the spokesperson said. "Therefore, participants have not been provided with any details in this regard."

However, the attendees have been given detailed information about the conditions set by the Afghan government. "I would say what the delegates have been given is not clear and complete," she told reporters on Thursday. The pact will be valid for a decade until 2024.

On the opening day, ex-president Sibghatullah Mujaddedi was named the head of the Loya Jirga and Advisor to President on Islamic Affairs Naimatullah Shahrani as his first deputy.

More than 2,000 people, including sitting and former parliamentarians, members of provincial councils, representatives of civil societyinfo-icon and special people, religious scholars and influential tribal elders are attending the four-day event.

About 77 legislators, the Hope and Change Coalition led by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and the newly established Afghanistaninfo-icon National Front, led by Gen. Abdur Rashid Dostum, are boycotting the grand assembly.

MP Muhammad Mohaqiq, ex-vice president Ahmad Zia Masood and the National Unity Front, led by ex-prime minister Eng. Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai, are also staying away from the jirgainfo-icon.



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