Hundreds of Afghans rally against US pact
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Last Updated: Monday, October 24, 2011, 22:38
Kabul: Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in Kabul on Monday, shouting "death to America" in an angry protest urging the government not to sign a strategic partnership with the United States.

The demonstrators, many wearing turbans and carrying placards, took to the streets in the western part of the city, chanting anti-US slogans and carrying banners demanding that all 130,000 foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

"We are here to say no to the strategic partnership with the US and the establishment of foreign military bases in Afghanistan," one protester, Waheedullah, said.

"The strategic partnership has no sharia (Islamic law) or legal basis, we don't want that."

US Ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker, has insisted that permanent military bases do not figure in plans for a future US-Afghanistan partnership, but fears remain among many Afghans over details of the fine print.

Holding pictures of Afghan civilian casualties allegedly caused by foreign troop operations, the demonstrators chanted: "Death to America", "Death to NATO" and "Allowing military bases is treachery".

US President Barack Obama has announced that he will pull 10,000 US troops from Afghanistan this year as part of a gradual withdrawal of combat forces scheduled to be completed in 2014.

A grand assembly has been planned next month to discuss the partnership agreement under negotiation with the United States, which will outline the two countries' relationship after troops leave.


First Published: Monday, October 24, 2011, 22:38

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