Afghanistan grand assembly opens to discuss pact with US
Kabul – Afghanistan’s traditional Loya Jirga or grand assembly of tribal chieftains, notable people and government functionaries opened here Thursday to discuss the security pact known as Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US.
“Americans wants to have nine bases in Afghanistan and a limited number of 10,000 to 15,000 (security personnel) of America and other countries including Turkey and the United Arab Emirates will remain in Afghanistan after the 2014 withdrawal of NATO-led forces from the ! country,” Xinhua quoted Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai as saying in his opening remarks.
Briefing the participants of the Jirga on the drafted BSA, the president said that “you are representatives of the people of Afghanistan; you read the document thoroughly and take your decision based on the larger national interest of Afghanistan”.
In the 26-article document, titled ‘Security and Defence Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’, the US has committed to respecting Afghanistan’s independence, territorial integrity and the Afghan culture and has assured its military would not search Afghan houses except in certain circumstances.
President Karzai also noted that having relations with the international community is for the benefit of Afghanistan.
The four-day Jirga with participation of more than 2,500 persons will announce their decision with regard to BSA Sunday afternoon.