Emotions Run High in Parliament Over Dand-e-Ghori Deal


Emotions ran high in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) on Saturday when MPs were clearly divided over the recent signing of the controversial Dand-e-Ghori deal which prevents either Taliban or security forces from carrying out attacks or operations respectively.

MPs shouted out at each – with some being in favor of the Baghlan accord and others being vehemently opposed to it.

The vocal outburst by MPs came during and after the Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs Gulab Mangal’s speech to the House which saw him answer questions posed by the lawmakers.

A number of MPs opposed to the deal said this accord has resulted in the area becoming a Taliban stronghold.

According to them, the Taliban have raised their flag in Dand-e-Ghori and are fighting security forces.

However, the minister reiterated his stance that the deal was signed between government officials and tribal elders and not with the Taliban. He said this was done in a bid to improve the security situation.

“The deal was made with the ethnic elders not with the Taliban. If it has been signed with the Taliban, I am ready to resign,” Mangal said, who came under fire after Dand-e-Ghori accord. “But there is no surety that Taliban will act on their promises.”

But MPs opposed to the deal said that this move gave the Taliban an advantage.

“The Taliban may not launch attack from this area but it has become their organizing center where they can make their plans,” MP Ahmad Behzad said.

Another MP Fawzia Kofi said: “This deal means giving advantage to the Taliban and has given them an opportunity to make their plans and also treat their wounded fighters.”

Meanwhile, other lawmakers opposed the anti-accord statements by their colleagues.

“I am against such remarks and making these statements in current situation is not in favor of the country,” lawmaker Naeem Lalai commented.

After this an argument broke out between lawmakers, bringing the day’s session to a sudden stop without any decisions being taken.

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