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Jirga committees debate deal with US

Jirga committees debate deal with US

Nov 17, 2011 - 12:54

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The traditional Loya Jirgainfo-icon on a strategic cooperation agreement with the US and setting up a mechanism for peace talks with Afghan militants entered a second day in Kabul on Thursday.

The second day's proceedings began with the creation of dozens of committees, which will debate the pros and cons of the agreement at the Polytechnic Institute.

Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, a participant, told Pajhwok Afghan News the 40 bodies would discuss political, economic and military aspects of the deal. Copies of the draft agreement were distributed to jirgainfo-icon members on the opening day.

Members would submit their written recommendations to committee heads, he said, adding the suggestions would be studied by the jirga chairman and participants before being signed.

Anahita Sarwary, a representative of Afghan refugees in Iran, said the committees had embarked on their work. However, she denied receipt of the draft agreement by the delegates. 

On Wednesday, 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.

Presidential Advisor on Tribal Affairs Mohammad Arif Noorzai was appointed as second deputy chairman, with First Deputy Chairman of Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon Mohammad Alam Yazidyar and Hayatullah Belaghi chosen as secretaries.

Safia Siddiqui was named as spokeswoman for the four-day jirga. The deputy chairmen, secretaries and spokesperson were proposed by Mujaddedi and approved by participants.

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 jirga.

Under Article 65 of the Constitution, the president can call for a referendum on important national, political, social as well as economic issues. The referendum shall not be contrary to the provisions of this Constitution or require its amendment.


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