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Senate OKs strategic pact with US

in Afghan Business

Senate OKs strategic pact with US

The Meshrano Jirga — or upper house of parliament — on Sunday approved the strategic cooperation agreement between Afghanistan and the United States, an official said.

The accord, a vital document that sets the tone for decade-long ties with the US after foreign troops leave the country in 2014, was presented to the Senate session this morning.

Of the 80 lawmakers present, 67 voted in favour of the pact, while 13 others opposed it. Article 90 of the Constitution says the ratification of international treaties and agreements, or abrogation thereof, is the right of parliament.

Gul Ahmad Azimi, a senator from western Farah province, said the pact fuelled new hope for the people of Afghanistan. People were optimistic the accord would help end the war and neighbours’ interference in the country, Azimi added.

Another lawmaker from southeastern Paktia province, Abdul Hanan Haqvayun, opposed the strategic deal, saying it did not comply with some recommendations of last year’s traditional Loya Jirga.

He said the issue of stopping the flow of Afghanistan’s water into Pakistan and Iran was not addressed by the accord. “This water belongs to us, but the US has bargained with Pakistan on it and doesn’t want to stop it flowing into the neighbouring country.”

He saw no clarity in the deal on US demands and said the Americans would never ignore their personal interest for Afghanistan’s peace and prosperity.

President Hamid Karzai and his US counterpart Barack Obama signed the document at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on May 2.

The pact says: “In order to strengthen security and stability in Afghanistan, to contribute to regional and international peace, combat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates and enhance the ability of Afghanistan to deter threats against its sovereignty…the parties shall continue to foster close cooperation on defence and security arrangements…”

Source: Pajhwok News Agency by Abasin ZaheeronJun 3, 2012 – 14:44

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