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Afghan president backs security pact with US

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Afghan president backs security pact with US
Afghan president backs security pact with US

Kabul – Afghan President Hamid Karzai Sunday supported the decision of the traditional Loya Jirga or grand assembly of tribal elders and notables in favour of inking a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the U! S but set conditions for signing the controversial accord.

“! We want to give bases to America, although it is difficult for us, but in return we want peace in Afghanistan from today onward but not 10 or 15 years later. This is our first condition,” Xinhua quoted Karzai as categorically saying in his speech on the last day of the four-day Jirga.

Other conditions include halting military operations on Afghan homes and cooperation in the coming election process slated for April 5 next year.

He put the conditions in the wake of the killing of two civilians allegedly by US forces in eastern Nangarhar province Tuesday.

“I am repeating that from now on the American forces cannot search Afghan houses and cannot kill Afghans … otherwise the agreement will be annulled,” President Karzai warned in his 30-minute emotional speech.

However, the chairman of the 2,500-member historic gathering, Sibghatullah Mujadadi, urged President Karzai to respect the decision of the four-day Jirga and ink the security accord at the ! earliest before the end of 2013.

The Loya Jirga earlier Sunday approved the BSA with the US after four days of debates.

“The second article of the resolution said that keeping in mind the security condition of Afghanistan and its need to the support of the international community, the Loya Jirga supports and approves the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US,” Abdul Karim Aymaq, deputy to the Jirga, said while reading out the resolution issued at the end of the Jirga.

The resolution wants the security agreement to be inked by the end of 2013, he added.

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