News / Asia

    Afghan Tribal Leaders to Vote on US-Afghan Security Pact

    Afghan Tribal Leaders to Vote on US-Afghan Security Pacti
    X
    November 20, 2013 9:46 PM
    More than 2,000 Afghan tribal and community elders soon will decide on an agreement that determines whether any U.S. forces will remain in the country after 2014. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Kabul on the tribal assembly that has high stakes for Afghanistan’s future.
    More than 2,000 Afghan tribal and community elders soon will decide on an agreement that determines whether any U.S. forces will remain in the country after 2014. The tribal assembly has high stakes for Afghanistan’s future.
     
    Tribal and community elders from around Afghanistan have started arriving in Kabul to determine details of a security pact with the United States.
     
    Security is tight around the capital. During the weekend a bomb exploded 500 meters from the site of the gathering, a stark reminder of the ongoing militant threat in the country.
     
    Such concerns about security, as well as Afghan suspicions of neighbors Pakistan and Iran, have lawmakers, like Salih Mohammad Salih, backing the security agreement.
     
    “We need to make sure the bilateral security agreement includes language that if any country attacks or interferes on our soil, the United States will support our national army and security forces in pushing back,” said Salih.

    Loya Jirga approval needed

    Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has negotiated a draft agreement with U.S. officials. But the tribal assembly, or Loya Jirga, must give its approval before the document goes to the Afghanistan Parliament for a vote.
     
    Among the most contentious points is whether U.S. troops or contractors will be tried in Afghan courts or American courts for any wrongdoing after the end of 2014.

    The Taliban has threatened leaders who support the deal. And former mujahedeen and conservative religious groups are opposed. They say the accord would “sell” Afghanistan to Washington.

    Different opinions

    Opinion on the street is divided.  Some want the Americans to leave, others say a security pact is important.

    Abdul Ali Sultani of western Farah province supports a deal. “I think that without an agreement, you will soon see the Taliban, Pakistan intelligence and Iran intelligence at the doors of Kabul.”
     
    The country cannot afford to turn down the security pact, cautions lawmaker Haji Mirdad Khan Nijrabi. “The U.S. has promised to pay $4.1 billion to our security forces, and another $4 billion to our civilian institutions. If this Loya Jirga advises the government to reject the agreement, we are in danger of losing this aid,” he said.

    For the United States, a continued presence in Afghanistan will give Washington time to improve the capacity of the Afghan security forces, as well as ensure that al-Qaida does not once again gain a foothold in the country.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora