US seeks a week for deal on Bagram jail transfer
In a telephonic conversation with President Hamid Karzai, Chuck Hagel said the US military in Afghanistan would be able to bring the jail handover process to an end in a week.
President Karzai accepted Hagel’s demand, stressing the US must see to it that the Afghan government took full control of the detention centre in central Parwan province this time around.
Delayed several times, the jail transfer must happen in line with Afghanistan’s sovereignty, a statement from Karzai’s office said.
In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said: “Secretary Hagel spoke with Karzai to discuss issues of shared concern, including detentions. George Little added: “They agreed to use the next week to conduct intensive work with a view to concluding an agreement that fully recognises Afghan sovereignty and our mutual interests in security of the Afghan people and our respective forces.”
Earlier in the day, the Afghanistan Ulema Council also asked US forces to transfer the detention facility to Afghan control and leave the central province of Maidan Wardak as soon as possible.
The council supported President Hamid Karzai's call for the US military to transfer the jail's affairs to his administration, saying it had been a long-standing demand of the people of Afghanistan.
It added the Afghans had long been urging the US and NATO forces to stop bombing homes of defenseless civilians, night raids and arrests on dubious charges.
"Afghanistan is a sovereign Islamic nation with a long history of rendering sacrifices to defend its independence, protect its religion and resist attempts at its enslavement," the council said.
It called President Karzai's demand for the handover the Bagram jail in central Parwan province north of Kabul to the Afghans and withdrawing from Wardak the voice of the nation.
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