Meshrano Jirga approves security deals

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Meshrano Jirga on Thursday unanimously approved the bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the United States and a Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) with NATO.
Of 72 senators present at today’s session, 70 voted in favour of the two accords while only seven lawmakers voted in opposition.
Senate Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar had said they would not hasten to approve the accords and asked the Senate commission on international affairs to thoroughly study the deals before presenting tabling them in the house for a decision.
The lower house had endorsed the security deals on Sunday.
On Sept 30, the new government inked the BSA and SOFA allowing a residual force of nearly 10,000 international troops to stay on in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
The staying troops would train and advice Afghan security forces and American troops would also take part in counterinsurgency operations besides providing air support to Afghan operations when needed.
The agreement would allow American forces to station in Kabul, Parwan, Balkh, Kandahar, Paktia, Herat, Nangarhar and Helmand provinces.
The accords exempt foreign troops from taxes and prosecution in Afghan courts in case of committing a crime in Afghanistan.
hg/rm/ma

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