KABUL - The upper house of Parliament or ""'Meshrano Jirga on Sunday refused to allow the deputy foreign minister and deputy intelligence chief to brief senators.The two were to discuss Afghanistan's security situation and the proposed strategic cooperation agreement with the US on behalf of the foreign minister and the intelligence chief.
Last Sunday, the upper house summoned the acting intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, national security advisor Rangin Dadfar Spanta and the deputy foreign minister to brief lawmakers about these subjects, especially in light of recent assassinations of elders.
But both Nabil and Spanta sent their deputies instead. The Senate did not allow them to speak on behalf of their bosses.
Several elders, including President Hamid Karzai's half brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, presidential adviser Jan Mohammad Khan, and Uruzgan MP Mohammad Hashim Watanal, have been killed in insurgent attacks recently.
Meanwhile, talks between Afghan and US officials are said to be ongoing regarding a strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries.
The country's security, sovereignty and end to unilateral operations by foreign troops are some of the conditions the Afghan government has presented the US as part of the agreement.
Afghan officials say the agreement will have no impact on Afghanistan's relations with its neighbouring countries.
First deputy speaker Mohammad Alam Ezadyar said that Spanta and Nabil had written the house to say they were unable to appear because of a meeting at the National Security Council.
But a number of senators said the officials should have appeared after they were summoned by the house.
Nisar Ahmad Haris, a senator from Kabul province, said it was the first time that the house had summoned the intelligence chief, but he sent his deputy. He said not appearing before the house showed negligence on the part of the officials.
Another member from western Herat province, Shahnaz Ghausi, echoed Haris's remarks, saying the officials did not appear because they had not received a vote of confidence from the house.
Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said the house wanted its decisions to be implemented. "If we summon a minister, the minister should appear, not his deputy," he said.