On Tuesday, Afghan Senators said that by holding a Jirga, President Karzai is circumventing the National Assembly in an uncostitutional way. The Senators asked President Karzai to work to solve the problems of the country through the National Assembly and not Jirgas.

The opposing Senators also said that Jirgas are a huge financial burden on the citizens of the country and it is not a proper way to address national issues.

“We have failed to achieve any positive result from the previous Jirgas. The proposed Jirga is a clear violation of the Constitution. The government wants to implement its secret agenda through this Jirga,” said Senator Muhammad Danishjo.

“When a National Assembly exists, holding a Jirga is against the provisions of the Constitution. A Jirga does not represent the views and opinions of Afghans,” said Senator Abdul Wahab Irfan.

“A Jirga has no legal status and the government of Afghanistan is obligated to share the issues of the country with the people’s representatives at the National Assembly,” said Senator Ali Akbar Jamshidi.

On Monday, a number of MPs criticised the head of the Lower House and said that he was a puppet of Karzai. The MPs added that the head of the House actively participated in the past Jirgas and President Karzai gave him incentives for his participation.

“Holding a Jirga is not acceptable to the representatives of the House. It is against law, but the head of the House always participates in such Jirgas. Before holding this Jirga, President Karzai appointed the head’s brother as a Governor for one of the provinces,” said MP Naqibullah Faiq.

While many were protesting the proposed Jirga, a couple Senators came out in support of it and said that if it is held in the nation’s interest and to find solutions for the numerous security challenges then it is legitimate.

“The Jirga is in no way violating the Constitution. The country has recognised an emergency Jirga and holding a Jirga is not a violation of the law,” said Senator Hidayatollah Rahayee.

“We support the Jirga if the government does not aim to achieve personal goals out of it. If the government aims to make personal gains then it is not acceptable,” responded Senator Muhammad Amin Ahmadi.

While the exact date for the Jirga remains unknown, the Presidential spokesman, Emal Faizi, emphasised that the agenda of the Jirga is only to discuss the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). Mr. Faizi pointed out that President Karzai wishes to listen to the opinions and ideas about the BSA from his countrymen.

It is being speculated that the Jirga will be held by the end of the current Persian month in the presence of high ranking government officials, National Assembly representatives, political parties, civil society representatives and tribal elders.

Earlier on Sunday, the Cooperation Council of Political Parties and Coalitions of Afghanistan (CCPPCA) while at a gathering also announced that the Jirga is unconstitutional. The CCPPCA added that the issue of the Jirga has created controversies and been a divisive force in Afghan politics.

Last week, numerous political parties raised doubts about the credibility of the Jirga, suggesting that it was simply a way for President karzai to pursue his personal goals at the cost of national interest. Members of the Right and Justice Party (RJP), the National Coalition Party (NCP), and the Afghan Millat Party (AMP) accused President Karzai of having ulterior motives in delaying Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) talks with the US in order to discuss them at the Jirga. According to the parties, President Karzai hopes to delay BSA talks with the Jirga in order to bargain with Washington for selfish motives under the pretext of “national interest.”