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As security deteriorating, MPs slam BSA

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Expressing serious concerns over growing insecurity, members of the Wolesi Jirga (WJ) or Lower House of the Parliament said that despite signing the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US there is no end in sight to the militancy.

Growing insecurity in different parts of the country and sudden emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan were the issues that prod the Afghan lawmakers to question effectiveness of the BSA.

The legislators said the Afghan government signed the BSA hoping that Washington would support the Afghan security forces and ensure security and stability, but emergence of the IS tells something else. They said the US is not serious about the agreement and took it as a piece of paper having no value.

Speaker of the WJ, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, said the BSA was approved by the parliament with great zeal because they thought it would help to maintain foolproof security. “However, nothing such happened. Now the lawmakers are responsible before the nation and had to review the agreement,” he said.

Large number of MPs, quoting Afghan security officials, said that some foreign countries have hands in making northern parts of the country, particularly Badakhshan province, insecure.

Latif Pedram, member of the Wolesi Jirga from Badakhshan, said the National Directorate of Security (NDS) had found that some foreign spy agencies were trying to fuel insecurity in Badakhshan.

He accused the United States and Britain of backing insurgency in Badakhshan province and said the high-ranking officials should be summoned by the WJ for more details in this regard.

Ineffectiveness of the BSA, growing insecurity and surge in the IS activities are the issues that forced the MPs to call up President Ashraf Ghani.

“To improve security, I think President Ghani shall be summoned. We shall also know that whether it is possible to review the security agreement signed with the US because the agreement was inked despite concerns of the neighboring countries but failed to give any positive result,” said Samiullah Samim, another MP.

Recently, the governor of Paktika province Abdul Karim Mateen in an interview with TOLO News accused the National Security Council (NSC) of providing $200,000 to families of the IS fighters in Barmal district of the province.

He claimed that many times he asked the NSC to take steps to eliminate the IS in Paktika but received no response.

Lawmakers expressed their concern about allegations of the Paktika governor and said that high-ranking security officials do not want to eliminate the terror group.

“Some influential people in the government want to make northern part of the country insecure, as the governor of Paktika revealed. Therefore, the security officials shall be summoned to find out who are supporting Daesh,” said Habiba Danish.

Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi said the Wolesi Jirga would summon the security officials and ask them how the militancy changed its course suddenly and turned from western parts to northern areas.

He said the issue of insecurity should be taken on agenda in the next session.

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