Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Afghan parliament committees reject partnership pact with US


A member of the National Assembly of Afghanistan says the recent strategic partnership agreement signed between the US and Afghanistan has so far been rejected by two parliamentary committees.

Qorban-Ali Erfani said Tuesday that the agreement is being considered by various committees of the assembly and has already been rejected by two of them including the judicial committee for being against the national interests of Afghanistan.

US President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement in Kabul on May 1, which extends the US presence in Afghanistan to another decade beyond 2014.

The agreement is yet to be approved by the 249-member Afghan Parliament.

Meanwhile, an informed source says that the Afghan government and US Embassy in Kabul are lobbying Afghan lawmakers to encourage them to support the agreement, including by promising financial assistance and US Green Cards to Afghan parliamentarians.

Referring to the recent NATO summit meeting in Chicago on May 20-21, Erfani said the meeting was completely useless.

He stated that although participants talked about the withdrawal of their forces from Afghanistan, ceding responsibility for security affairs to Afghan forces and training them, “such remarks will only be useful when they are followed in practice, which does not seem to be the case.”

The lawmaker said the United States has paid no attention to rebuilding the Afghan army in the past 11 years and has so far avoided providing it with advanced weaponry, including modern planes and helicopters.

All these propaganda, he said, is aimed at influencing the public opinion, but the United States does not aim to make the Afghan army completely self-sufficient. 

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