We want Afghans no longer victimised: Faizi
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Karzai has no intention to walk away from a key security deal with the US, but he wants Afghans to be no longer victimised in the name of war on terror, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Aimal Faizi, during an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, rejected media reports that President Karzai did not want to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with Washington.
“All these reports are baseless. The president wants to sign the deal and the Afghans also want it to be concluded. We respect the decision of the Loya Jirga. Currently the issue is signing, not the contents. Hamid Karzai wants to sign it but he has put forward some conditions, which represent the demand of Afghans and the decision of the Loya Jirga.”
Faizi said one of the conditions was bringing peace to the country, a process that needed to be practically initiated. The armed opposition should announce they were ready to join the peace process and should enter negotiations with the Afghanistan High Peace Council, said Faizi, who proposed direct and overt talks between Afghan emissaries and Taliban leadership.
The presidential spokesman said the release of Taliban inmates from the Guantanamo Bay and Pakistani prisons and their handover in the Afghan government’s custody was another step, which needed to be taken.
“Such practical steps if taken by the US in cooperation with Pakistan will definitely kick-start the peace process in Afghanistan. Our demand is practical start of the peace process, which can do away with the excuses of prolonging the war,” he believed.
Faizi said Karzai’s conditions were aimed at opening a new chapter of Afghan-US cooperation and relationship after the security accord was signed.
“In the new chapter, we want that the people of Afghanistan are no longer sacrificed in the name of war on terrorism. We want the homes of Afghans are secured and not raided by US forces.”
Faizi said the decade-long war in Afghanistan had failed to yield positive results and they did not want past mistakes to be repeated.
He said practical steps toward meeting the two conditions on the US part would pave the ground for signing the agreement.
The presidential spokesman defended the government’s decision to release 72 of 88 prisoners from the Bagram jail, despite a US claim some of them were dangerous and posed legitimate threats.
“If these prisoners are criminals and dangerous, there should be evidence and documents to prove that. If we have no enough evidence to prove their crimes, keeping them in jail is against the country’s laws.”
He said releasing the 72 inmates from the Bagram jail was an internal matter of Afghanistan and a subject of national sovereignty.
Faizi said they wanted innocent prisoners to be released and the move would have no impact on the security agreement with the US.
The US has opposed the release of these inmates, calling them dangerous. A recent meeting chaired by President Karzai and attended by senior judicial officials at the President Palace was told by the spy service that there was enough evidence to try 16 of the 88 inmates.
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