Afghanistan's Loya Jirga: Q&A

image sourceReuters
image captionMany Afghan MPs and the entire opposition say they will boycott the jirga

An assembly of around 2,500 Afghan elders and notables called to discuss a long-awaited bilateral security agreement with the United States wants the deal with the US to be signed this year.

President Hamid Karzai, who summoned the assembly - or Loya Jirga - would rather the deal were signed later, once US forces have brought peace to the country. The US itself sees no reason to delay the agreement.

The Loya Jirga is also focusing on whether to grant immunity from prosecution to US troops after they end formal combat operations in Afghanistan next year.

This is a matter of continuing controversy in Afghanistan, as is the convocation of the jirga itself.

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