Despite the fact that different political coalitions, parties, groups, MPs and civil society organizations have called the Traditional Loya Jirga as illegal and against the democratic process, president Hamid Karzai is convening it tomorrow, November 16 to discuss some important national issues, including the strategic partnership agreement with the US and some other western countries and organizations.
Taliban militants have also labeled it as a gathering of government hand-picks, not of real representatives of Afghan people, threatening the participants to death. In the meanwhile, Taliban militants have claimed that they have obtained the security plan prepared by Afghan security agencies in conjunction with ISAF forces for ensuring security of the Jirga.
Afghan security officials have dismissed the claim as the militants' propaganda aimed at preventing this traditional grand assembly. If it turns out to be true, it will lead to the loss and breakdown of trust on those involved in planning to provide security for public events.
In addition, if the Taliban have obtained the security measures plan, they would be able to easily bypass those measures and find access points to carry out their possible assaults on the gathering or lodging places for the participants.
On Monday, November 14, 2011, a day before the orientation for the Traditional Loya Jirga begins or two days before the Jirga is officially opened, a would-be-suicide attacker was shot dead by security forces near the ten that serves as the venue for this traditional gathering of folks chosen by the government officials across the country.
The spokesman for Ministry of Interior, Ghulam Siddique Siddiqui, has said that the suspected attacker was carrying explosives in a bag to the site of the jirga. More than 2,000 people – to include government officials and elders- are supposed to partake in this gathering, which the critics and some major political alliances call as extra-constitutional.
For example, newly established major political alliance, called National Front of Afghanistan, and the Change and Hope Coalition have called on the president to stick to the provisions of the constitution and work with parliament and other democratic and representative bodies to address the issues related to national interests of the country.
Some parliamentarians have said that president Karzai would commit a national treason if he asks the Jirga to decide on high national interests that have to be decided by the parliament, in particular the house of representative/Wolesi Jirga.