Afghans to decide US presence after 2014 in Loya Jirga Nov 19-21

KABUL: (MEP) – Preparations are underway for a grand assembly in Afghanistan, in which decisions will be made regarding the presence of forces of the United States past year 2014.

Members of the grand assembly, Loya Jirga, will convene in the Afghan capital Kabul from November 19 to 21.

“About 3000 have been invited to this Jirga including lawmakers, politicians, tribal elders, presidential candidates, and religious figures,” said Abdul Khaliq Hussaini, a spokesman for the preparation commission of Loya Jirga, APA reported.

Many activists have already voiced their opposition to the Jirga, saying that it does not represent the people of Afghanistan.

“The result of this Jirga has already been determined. They are going to invite their close friends… to support the agreement and let the American forces have a long-term presence in our country,” said Bismillah Shir, head of the Afghanistan National Unity Party.

The Afghan Taliban has also threatened those taking part in the Jirga, saying thise who approve such a deal are “traitors.”

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of many US-led troops.

Washington also carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Afghanistan, which it says targets al-Qaeda militants. However, local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks over the past few years.

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