Opposition to US-Afghanistan security deal growing
Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:1PM
The Afghan government is to hold a Loya Jirga or grand assembly in the coming days to decide whether or not a security deal should be signed with the US. This deal-- if signed, will allow American forces to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. But opposition to the pact is mounting. Political and religious parties are holding gatherings to voice their dissatisfaction with the presence of US troops.The date has been set for the Loya Jirga to meet here in Kabul. It will begin on November 21st. It is a big meeting which will discuss a draft security deal between Afghanistan and the US. Washington wants to achieve a long-presence here through this deal. But it largely depends on the approval of the Jirga. The meeting has been announced by President Karzai. Now all eyes are on the upcoming assembly here. But voices opposed to any such pact are already very loud. Some parties---like this one--- seem strongly against this agreement. Islamic Movement of Afghanistan on Sunday protested against the security deal. They have described it as against their country’s sovereignty and pride. To these men, the presence of US forces is intolerable. It is the latest anti-US protest. These people have come to Kabul from across the country. They had only one demand.And that was a quick US military pull-out. Most of them blamed US forces for committing crimes. Civilian deaths are exactly one of the key reasons that turned people here against the US military boots. The security agreement must be approved by the Loya Jirga and parliament before it can come into force. The pact also covers the key issue of whether US military personnel will be granted immunity from prosecution in Afghanistan. It will be discussed next week by Afghanistan's Loya Jirga, the traditional council of elders.