Afghans protest recent US military deal

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By S Kumar
Date  21Nov2011

Thousands of youth have rallied in Afghanistan against a recent Afghan security pact with the United States.

The protesters took to the streets on Sunday in the city of Jalalabad where they blocked the road to the capital Kabul and shouted slogans against the US and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

They burned an effigy of US President Barack Obama as they protested the US-Afghan security pact that would allow US forces to stay in the war-torn country beyond 2014.

The security pact was agreed to Saturday by an assembly of more than two thousand tribal elders and dignitaries.

The assembly, known as the Loya Jirga, on Saturday endorsed President Hamid Karzai's decision to negotiate a long-term security pact with the US, but imposed some conditions.

The Loya Jirga has also called for an end to night raids by the US-led troops and complete Afghan control over detainees.

The Loya Jirga kicked off in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday.

The four-day meeting discussed Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, centering on long-term US bases in Afghanistan after US-led foreign troops withdraw in 2014.

The United States has failed to achieve its goals after 10 years of occupation of Afghanistan. Many parts of the Asian country remain insecure, despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led foreign forces.

Experts believe Washington's new strategy of establishing long-term military bases will only serve to raise anti-US sentiment among Afghans and neighboring countries.

Afghan people are against the plan, dismissing it as a ploy for indefinite neo-colonial occupation.


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