Topic: Afghan Northern Alliance

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  • What is a loya jirga? Afghanistan's most pivotal jirgas since 2002.

    What is a loya jirga? Afghanistan's most pivotal jirgas since 2002.

    A loya jirga, or grand assembly, is really just a traditional meeting that serves to bring local leaders from all over the country together to discuss a critical issue during a time of instability. While the meetings are seen as a critical part of Afghan political life, they are a relatively rare occurrence. In the past 300 years, Afghanistan has had fewer than 20 loya jirgas, about a quarter of which have taken place in the past decade. But as the Afghan political system grows stronger and develops democratic institutions such as the parliament, many now question their value altogether. Here are the four most pivotal jirgas of the past decade and what came out of the meetings:

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