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Wolesi Jirga for reforms in electoral bodies, NDS-IS deal details

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of the Parliament, on Saturday urged the government to introduce reforms in electoral bodies and provide details about the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security and Pakistan’s ISI.

A number of lawmakers said they are not allowed to observe government’s activities after June 22; therefore they want their demands to be fulfilled as soon as possible.

“The president is ignoring to bring reforms in electoral bodies. The parliament’s legitimacy will be undermined if the situation prevailed,” said Shakiba Hashimi, an MP from Kandahar.

The female lawmaker suggested the president to brief the MPs about delay in parliamentarian elections and find a better solution for the problem.

She said that like other MoUs and agreements the intelligence sharing deal between Kabul and Islamabad should also be discussed in the house and parliamentarians should be aware of some of its details.

It is said that at least 20 lawmakers have signed a petition to discuss NDS-IS deal in daily sessions of the house.

Sadiqi Zada Nili, an MP from Daikundi, said the lawmakers can continue their activities until the parliamentary election is not held. “Holding parliamentary polls is not possible until reforms are not brought in electoral bodies. The current electoral commissions have no legitimacy to hold the polls,” he said.

Another MP from Farah, Sarwar Usmani, suggested that the MoU between Afghanistan and Pakistan spy agencies should be cancelled as Islamabad has never been honest with Kabul in fulfilling its promises.

Deputy Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga, Zahir Qadir, who was chairing the session, said the petition for reviewing and discussing the NDS-ISI agreement is on his table and will be included in the agenda when the quorum is complete. “Security will be discussed by chiefs of Wolesi Jirga’s committees in a bid to create a strong agenda in this regard,” he added.

He called on the government leaders to bring reforms in electoral bodies as soon as possible in order to pave the ground for parliamentarian elections.

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