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NDS-ISI deal taken out of Wolesi Jirga’s agenda: MPs

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Members of the Wolesi Jirga (WJ) criticized the chiefs committee of the house for taking out the NDS-ISI deal from agenda on Wednesday.

Last Monday, the Wolesi Jirga has decided to call up the adviser of the National Security Council (NSC) and the chief and deputy chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) to brief the MPs over the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on intelligence sharing.

They were also asked to bring the original copy of the agreement on Wednesday (today). However, the issue was removed from the WJ’s agenda. Though, it was decided to include the NDS-ISI deal in the agenda for next session, but the MPs showed serious reaction over decision of the administrative board of the WJ.

The MPs said that the debate on the agreement was expected today (Wednesday) as the country is passing through critical juncture.

Secretary of the Internal Security Committee (ISC) of the WJ, Shekiba Hashemi, said that no one has the right to change the agenda, because it is decided by the MPs with majority.

The legislators emphasized that they want to know about status of the agreement and clarification of the term “five phases”. Earlier, the government said that the accord would pass through five different phases to get a final shape. The NSC said that the draft was not final and would be signed after national consensus was built.

Ms Hashmei told the WJ speaker that he should not adopt delaying tactics, and include the deal in the agenda. “The administrative board is not authorized to take out such significant issue from the agenda,” she said.

Obaidullah Barekzai, a member of the ISC, said that when majority of the MPs decided to summon the NDS chief and adviser of the NSC then it was beyond the logic to remove the deal with ISI from the agenda.

“Lawmakers want details about the agreement. There is trust deficit. Members of the Wolesi Jirga want know that on which basis the officials are selling Afghanistan, because there is no end in sight to the ongoing insurgency in the country. There is war in every part of Afghanistan including Uruzgan, Zabul, and northern provinces. Enemies are moving towards north from south. Therefore, it is necessary to know about pros and cons of the deal,” added Barekzai.

Chief of the Defense Committee of the WJ, Muhammad Iqbal Safi, told Afghanistan Times that he does not know why the NDS-ISI deal was taken out from the agenda. “This issue will be included in the next agenda as 20 lawmakers have proposed it today.”

Another member of the ISC, Ali Akbar Qasemi, termed the decision of the chiefs committee against the parliamentary regulations. He said the administrative board of WJ could only decide date.

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