Stage set for Bagram jail transfer
KABUL (PAN): The government of President Hamid Karzai and the US military, ending two weeks of bickering, said on Sunday the Bagram Detention Facility in central Parwan province was set for transition to complete Afghan control.
Preparations for the handover of the jail to Afghan authorities were reviewed at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting, chaired by President Karzai, his office said. A ceremony marking the transfer is slated for Monday.
On Saturday, the Pentagon announced the detention facility would be transferred to Afghans, saying the two countries had reached an agreement, meeting one of the key demands of the Karzai administration.
When the deal on the Bagram prison handover was concluded, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with President Hamid Karzai, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.
“Secretary Hagel spoke with Karzai this morning about an agreement reached today to transfer the detention facility in Parwan to the sovereign control of Afghanistan on Monday,” he added.
The agreement follows an intensified round of discussions this week between allies. Hagel welcomed Karzai's commitment that the transfer would be carried out in a way that ensured the safety of the Afghan people and coalition forces by keeping dangerous individuals detained in a secure and humane manner in accordance with Afghan law.
Last year, the US agreed to shift responsibility for most of the over 3,000 detainees at the jail and held a transfer ceremony in September. But American soldiers stayed at the detention facility, controlling the area around it.
A fortnight back, a prisoner transfer ceremony was scuttled because of differences between Gen. Joseph Dunford and Karzai. But hectic negotiations, encouraged by the new US defence chief, led to a resolution of the dispute
Briefing participants of the NSC meeting, Defence Minister Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi said an elaborate plan had been drawn up for deploying Afghan forces to the Nirkh district of Maidan Wardak, following the withdrawal of coalition troops.
Commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Joseph Dunford, who also attended the meeting, promised they would pull out special forces from the restive district and enforce the Afghan government’s decision.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said defence and interior ministries and the National Directorate of Security had been tasked with sending Afghan forces to Nirkh for serving its residents and maintaining security there.
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