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Security is tight in the Afghan capital Kabul ahead of the loya jirga traditional assembly set to begin on Wednesday.
President Hamid Karzai has called the major meeting of tribal elders and political leaders to discuss, amongst other issues, the possibility of continued U.S. military presence in the country after 2014.
Some residents are sceptical about the effectiveness of the meeting.
(SOUNDBITE) (Dari) KABUL RESIDENT, GULL RAHMAN:
"This loya jirga is just a show and the government spent a significant amount of money to hold it, which is just a waste of money. We are not expecting a positive result out of this jirga, because the participants are not aware of the agenda to discuss, they don't know what they are going to discuss about."
Afghanistan's opposition party leader also opposes the meeting, saying it has no legal basis.
Last month the Afghan Taliban, which has long fought against the presence of foreign troops in the country, said it would target assembly participants.
Nick Rowlands, Reuters.