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The Killid Group
Can we trust the US?Written by Killid
Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:28
Finally, long-drawn negotiations between the US and Afghanistan on strategic cooperation have produced the outlines of an agreement. A draft pact was signed by national security adviser Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta and US ambassador Ryan Crocker on April 22.
Briefing Parliament later Spanta said both countries have agreed to sign a separate memorandum of understanding next year on the presence of US forces in military bases after the pullout. By 2014, the process of handing over security duties from NATO and ISAF to the Afghan army will be complete.
The long-term strategic treaty includes agreements on the liberty of women and media. The US has promised aid for health, education, agriculture, commerce, and mines development. “Eighty five percent of the aid would be spent by the Afghan government,” the national security advisor told members of Parliament.
Spanta said the government has struck no hidden deals. Also countries in the region have been briefed. “We have given information about the contents of the treaty to India, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and other neighbouring countries and have kept their concerns in mind …”
He believed it was in US self interest to sign the treaty. “The US is assisting not only philanthropically. Rather it has interests as a super power… it has strategic interests as well. Our job and task is to safeguard our interests...”
Many Members of Parliament are critical.
Abdul Rauf Ebrahimi, speaker, said the government has no authority to “accept or reject” the draft. “The treaty should be signed keeping in mind the national interests of Afghanistan. When the document comes to Parliament we would have the authority to approve or reject it. The decision would take place when it comes to Parliament.”
Other national assembly members like Dr Zulmai Zabuli raised doubts about the US honouring the treaty. “I say that the US promised at the Bonn first conference (2001) to respect Islamic values, customs and laws but unfortunately they have flouted it many times. What is the guarantee now?”
Senator Mohammad Daneshjo has no such reservations. He is happy the US will continue to have a presence. “This is the need of the hour,” he said. “We should sign strategic treaties to prevent interference from our neighbours.”