May 2 - Afghan residents voice their concerns following the signing of a long-term security pact between the U.S. and Afghanistan. Simon Hanna reports.
Applause rings out as U.S. President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai sign a security pact on Tuesday. But there was a different response on the streets of Kabul. Residents here have serious concerns about the deal that sets out a long-term role for the U.S. in their country. (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) KANDAHAR RESIDENT ESSA MOHAMMAD: "We don't want the American forces and their bases to remain in our country, we just want to have our own Afghan forces and we will support our Afghan forces to take the lead." (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) KANDAHAR RESIDENT NIAMUTALLAH KHAN: "We are not happy with the strategic pact that Karzai signed last night with Obama. We don't want the Americans to remain in our country, we want to be independent." Politicians though appeared to support the deal, with one MP backing Obama's vision. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF THE AFGHAN PARLIAMENT SHUKRIA BAREKZAI: "As Obama mentioned last night there is a candle of hope and light and brightness and we need that bright to get stronger, and guide us and take us away from the dark." Soon after Obama left Afghanistan on Wednesday morning, a suicide car bomb killed at least seven people on the outskirts of Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, saying the attack was its reaction to the pact. Simon Hanna, Reuters.