Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Top US commander warns against Afghan-US security deal delay

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Ahmad Shah Ghanizada
Ahmad Shah Ghanizadahttps://www.khaama.com
Ahmadshah Ghanizada is the deputy editor in chief for The Khaama Press Agency who manages and overlooks the English edition.

Gen. Joseph DunfordThe Top US commander in Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford has warned that said if the Bilateral Security Agreement with Washington is not signed by President Karzai soon, plans have to made for an alternative option.

Gen. Dunford quoted by NATO Channel said, “I’m not in the business of providing advice to the Government of Afghanistan because I think signing the BSA is a decision that has to be made by President Karzai. The Loya Jirga has certainly indicated that the Afghan people want the BSA.

All I can tell you is that our Government has been clear that if the BSA is not signed soon, we simply have to make plans for an alternative option if there isn’t a BSA. So that’s really all I can tell you in terms of the timing.”

While insisting on the importance of the bilateral security agreement for Afghanistan, Gen. Dunford said, “I believe that the BSA is the best way to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. I believe it’s the best way to eliminate the uncertainty.

It’s the best way to give the Afghan people hope for the future. It’s the best way to support the complete political transition. It’s the best way to help grow the economy of Afghanistan so it can be self-sustaining in the future as well.”

“So the timing of the BSA is intended to be what’s best for the Afghan people, not for the American people. I will tell you I am concerned that if the BSA weren’t signed in a timely manner, that we would not be able to get the support of the American Congress, we would not be able to get the support of the coalitions, the capitals, the parliaments and the coalition capitals,” Gen. Dunford said.

He also added, “And we would not be able to build a coalition that would be necessary here post 2014 so I can certainly speak for myself, never once have I threatened anything that would happen as a result of the BSA. In my mind what the BSA means is a partnership between the Afghan people and the between the coalition to finish the work that we have done.”

“First of all, we’re not planning to leave Afghanistan and the entire focus of the International Security Assistance Force right now is to assume that we will have a mission here post-2014. Everything that we do, every day, is focused on continued development of Afghan Security Force capability and success in securing the Afghan people,” Gen. Dunford said while reiteraing the international community’s support to Afghanistan.

The draft bilateral security agreement between kabul and Washington was approved by majority during the consultative Loya Jirga last year.

However, president Hamid Karzai set new conditions for the signing of the agreement and said that coalition force should stop raids on Afghan homes and practical steps should be taken to start peace talks with the militant groups.

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