Afghan elders, Coalition Forces celebrate Constitution Day

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Elizabeth Raney Monday, 21 December 2009 18:11

NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Wakil Sakhi, one of the signers of the Afghan Constitution and elder of Nangaresh village, visited Forward Operating Base Kalagush and its leadership to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Afghan Constitution, Dec. 14.

Constitution Day is a celebrated day in the history of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  On Dec. 14, 2003, a loya jirga of 500 members met in Kabul to discuss the Afghan constitution and after two postponements, it was decided that Afghanistan would have a republic constitution.  

On Jan. 4, 2004, President Hamid Karzai endorsed the constitution and made it official. Each of the 34 Afghan districts was represented in the constitution. Sakhi was one of the appointed representatives from Nuristan.

On Dec. 14, Sakhi, along with the 20 elders from northern Laghman province and southern Nuristan province travelled to FOB Kalagush to celebrate their constitution’s anniversary with the Coalition forces. 

“The best way we can communicate the benefits of the (Afghan) government is through the Afghan leadership,” Sakhi said.  “It is our responsibility as the elders of our villages and districts to represent the will of the [people].” 

At the meeting, Sakhi discussed the struggle of the Afghan people since the Soviet Invasion, nearly 30 years ago.

“We are here to assist the Afghan government by providing a helping hand in making this country a better place. We must focus on the Afghan public and building the capacity of their government,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Forsyth, from Mayfield, Ky., the commander of the 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment.

Sakhi closed the meeting by thanking the Coalition for the friendship they shared and expressing hope that progress in development and security will continue.