|Afghan jirga members urge Karzai to sign US security pact|
|[Dawn] Members of an Afghan grand assembly debating a crucial security pact with the United States voiced concern Saturday at President 's insistence it will not be signed until after April's election to choose his successor.|
Kabul and Washington have agreed a joint draft of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), governing the presence of US troops in Afghanistan after 2014, which is being debated by the "loya jirga", a gathering of about 2,500 chieftains, tribal elders and politicians.
But in his opening statement on Thursday, Karzai told the meeting that the painstakingly negotiated deal would not be signed until after next year's presidential election, sparking a strong response from Washington, which wants it signed by the end of this year.
US officials warned that failure to sign the pact, which governs the conditions of any post-war American counter-terrorism and training mission in Afghanistan, could jeopardise crucial aid to the war-torn country.
The White House has said it needs a swift decision to start planning the movement of any US troops, and warned that President had not yet decided whether or not to keep American forces in Afghanistan.
"Karzai doesn't have the right to say this, he is making a mistake," said Sebghatullah Mujadidi, the head of the jirga.
"They (the Americans) have accepted all the conditions set out by him and us. It would hurt Afghanistan if he does not accept it," he added.
Amir Mohammad Akhnudzada, a delegate from the volatile southern province, said: "I think President Karzai should respect the decision of the Afghan elders, and all the delegates want this Bilateral Security Agreement signed as soon as possible."
Earlier, Karzai's Aimal Faizy told AFP that the president would explain the reasons for his stance in his closing speech to the jirga planned for Sunday.
On the penultimate day of the four-day jirga on Saturday, delegates debated the legal jurisdiction for US troops who remain in Afghanistan after 2014.
A draft text released by Kabul Wednesday appeared to show Karzai had bowed to a US demand that American troops would not be tried in local courts if they are accused of crimes.
|Afghan Reconciliation Commission Presses for Release of Captives|
|From Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty|
The estimated 500 detainees still held by U.S. forces at Bagram are thought to include Arabs, Pakistanis, and some Central Asians. But most are Afghans.
The head of the Afghan Reconciliation Commission, Sebghatullah Mujadidi, says the fate of all Afghans in U.S. custody will be discussed with U.S. officials when a delegation from Kabul visits Bagram on October 7. Mujadidi says his commission has mediated in the release of 462 innocent Afghan detainees from Bagram during the past 18 months -- including Amanullah -- and 17 from Guantanamo Bay. "We are sending our delegates to Bagram again," Mujadidi says. "It has been agreed that this delegation will be allowed to look at the case files of all of the Afghan detainees. Those who are innocent will be released."
Mujadidi says most Afghans still in detention at Bagram are expected to be transferred to Afghan custody by the summer of 2007. By then, a new high-security wing and staff training should be completed at Kabul's Pul-e Charki prison.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, says some Afghans being held for "acts of terrorism against the United States" could still be held at Bagram.
|Pakistan rejects Mujadadi's accusation|
|Pakistan on Monday angrily denied allegations by Afghanistan's senate chief that President Pervez Musharraf ordered a suicide attack against him, escalating tension between the neighbours. Sebghatullah Mujadidi, also a former Afghan president, made the accusation after he escaped Sunday's bombing with minor injuries. Two attackers and two bystanders were killed. Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam condemned the attack on Mujadidi but rejected his accusation that Pakistan was involved. She pointed out that President Karzai had said that investigations were underway and there was no evidence of who was involved.|
|Mujadadi survives suicide attack, blames Pakistan|
Mujadidi, a former Afghan president, now heads the upper house of parliament. He was quoted as blaming Pakistani agents for the blast and Afghan President Hamid Karzai separately blamed unspecified foreigners. It was not immediately known who was behind the attack. An aide to Mujadidi quoted him as telling visitors that the attack was planned by Pakistans secret service. Friends and relatives are coming to visit his excellency (Mujadidi). He is telling them that the attack was planned by foreigners and Pakistans secret service, aide Mustafah Ghazi told AFP.
Karzai said authorities had been warned of a plot to target senior officials. Wed information since two months ago there were plans to attack high-ranking government personnel, particularly Hazrat Saheb (Mujadidi), he told a press conference. With no doubt, Afghanistan in the past 30 years has been destroyed by the hands of foreigners...there is no doubt that this attack too is by foreigners, the president said, without elaborating. This attack by terrorists was against Afghanistans peace and stability, Karzai said, adding that Mujadidis claim of Pakistani involvement would be investigated.