Logistical constraints delay Afghanistan's 'Loya Jirga' meeting until tomorrow

Logistical constraints delay Afghanistan's 'Loya Jirga' meeting until tomorrow

The beginning of the Emergency Loya Jirga – a key milestone in Afghanistan’s political transition – which was to have opened today in Kabul has been postponed for 24 hours due to logistic and preparation setbacks, according to a member of the Special Independent Commission organizing the event.

Speaking to reporters in the Afghan capital, Abdul Salam Rahimi attributed the delay to an incomplete final voting list for the Loya Jirga, or tribal council, and stressed that it was not caused by security or political issues.

When asked whether there was concern that the delay could possibly send the wrong message to the rest of the world, Mr. Rahimi underscored that while the Commission had been determined to start the Loya Jirga on time, it had also deemed it important for the voting list and the delegates to be ready as well.

Lieutenant Colonel Helen Wildman of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) reiterated that the delay to the start the Loya Jirga was not due to security issues. The four departments dealing with security at the site - the Ministries of the Interior and Defence, the National Defence Secretariat and ISAF - were working together closely and operations had so far gone very well, she added.