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Some MPs Oppose Move to Review BSA

15 Sep 2018 Tolo News

A number of members of Wolesi Jirga (the Lower House of Parliament) during Saturday’s session opposed the calls by fellow parliament members this week for a review of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) signed between Kabul and Washington. 

In the wake of a sharp increase in fatalities among security forces in numerous provinces, MPs on Wednesday called for the BSA to be assessed. They said the agreement has not been successful in the fight against insurgency.

These MPs also said that the US has failed to enforce the agreement when it comes to the mobilization of Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF).

From among 150 MPs present at the session on Wednesday, 146 voted in favor of the move.

“Any contract that has no adaptive aspect can be terminated in its nature. Therefore it is reversible and the parliament must take a decision about this security pact in line with the interests of the country,” said one MP Mohammad Sarwar Osmani on Wednesday.

On Saturday, however, some MPs opposed the move and said the cancelation of the BSA would be detrimental to the country but in favor of Pakistan.

“We ourselves destroy affairs (work) and put the blame on others. With such moves we make our people poor and bring the bad condition of Vietnam in the country,” MP Zakaria Zakaria said.

“Parliament’s illegal and bad moves have caused the Afghani to lose its value suspantioanlly in the past refw days. One dollar became equal to 80 AFs,” MP Jafar Mahdavi said.

But many others welcomed last Wednesday’s decision claiming that the United States has not been honest in enforcing the agreement. 

These MPs said it was because of the BSA that other countries were fighting a proxy war in Afghanistan. 

“They (US) has established its bases in our country and manage its regional and international competitions from here,” MP Sadiqi Nili Zada said.

“The security agreement should be reviewed, it is not in favor of Afghanistan,” MP Allah Gul Mujahid said.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) meanwhile said the Bilateral Security Agreement was signed by Afghanistan and the US with the intention of fighting terrorism. 

In the meantime, a number of MPs blamed government over not having a clear definition of friends and enemies adding that the recent remarks by President Ashraf Ghani about his feelings on Taliban causalities is a shame. 

Ghani on September 13 said in an interview with VICE News that his heart breaks when he hears about the death toll of Taliban fighters in security meetings. 

“He (President Ghani) says that he gets sad when soldiers get killed and also becomes sad when Taliban fighters are killed. Unfortunately, his remarks are shameful,” MP Ahmadullah Movahid said.

“Lack of having a definition about the friend and enemy has put both people and security forces in a dilemma (made confused),” MP Abdul Sattar Darzabi said.  

The Bilateral Security Agreement was signed in 2014 before the drawdown of US troops in the country.

It set out numerous conditions including the troop strength and conditions for the Resolute Support mission in the country. In accordance with the BSA, the US also pays the salaries of all Afghan National Defense and Security Force members.

The agreement was signed between Kabul and Washington after the National Unity Government came into power. 

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