KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan would run into a severe economic crisis with the pullout of foreign forces later this year, some lawmakers warned on Wednesday, but others rejected the concerns at groundless.
Late on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama announced the US would keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan at the beginning of 2015 if the new president agreed to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement.
The US would withdraw all its troops by the end of 2016. “At the beginning of 2015, we will have approximately 9,800 US service members in different parts of the country, together with our NATO allies and other partners.”
Speaking in the Wolesi Jirga, a legislator from Kabul dubbed Obama’s announcement as glad tidings for intelligence networks of some countries, Pakistani generals and the Taliban.
Such elements were bent upon destabilising Afghanistan, alleged Shukria Barakzai, who argued a foreign military presence was necessary for security and the country’s international image.
If NATO-led troops withdrew, the Afghan government would not be able to pay its security forces even for a single year, she believed.
Her colleague from southeastern Khost province, Kamal Nasir Osuli, urged the Afghan government to maintain cordial ties with the global fraternity, particularly the United States.
He also supported an international military presence in the country. “In the prevailing circumstances, maintaining good relations with America is inevitable for Afghanistan,” he said.
But Qurban Ali Irfani, another MP from Kabul, alleged the foreigners’ presence had created problems for the Afghans. “Before their deployment, we had enough weapons to defend ourselves. But now we have nothing.”
Afghan security forces would become independent and they would better defend better the country after foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan, Irfan insisted.
A public representative from eastern Kunar province, Maulvi Shahzada Shahid, held a similar view. He said that presence of foreign forces in the country had created differences among the Afghans.
“If foreign forces leave, we will be able to rebuild our national unity,” the parliamentarian thought, saying peace would continue to elude Afghanistan as foreign forces operated in the country.
About Pakistani attacks on Kunar, Shahid said one civilian was killed, 27 others injured and as many as 122 residents displaced from different areas. He asked the government to react stoutly to Pakistani aggression and protect residents of border areas.
Speaker, Abdur Rauf Ibrahimi said Pakistan had repeatedly and shamelessly launched incursions into Afghanistan. He added military officials had been summoned next Saturday to provide complete details about the recent shelling.