Karzai to US: Respect our judicial freedom
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Hamid Karzai on Thursday said the release of 65 Taliban detainees from the Bagram jail was of no concern to the US, asking Washington to respect his country's judicial independence.
The president told at a press conference in Ankara that Afghanistan was a sovereign country and if its judicial authorities decided to release prisoners, the US should have no concerns.
"I hope that the United States will stop questioning Afghanistan's procedures and judicial authority," he said, hours after the US military and Obama administration officials raised questions about the releases.
The 65 inmates, whom the United States has repeatedly characterised as dangerous, were released from the Bagram prison in central Parwan province earlier in the day.
Maj. Niamatullah Khaki, a Bagram prison military official, told Pajhwok Afghan News the individuals were freed at 9:00am in compliance with the orders of the Attorney General Office (AGO).
On Wednesday, the AGO dismissed objections to the release of the 65 inmates, saying there was no evidence against the men. Their cases had been cleared by an team that investigated a total of 88 inmates.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Turkish Premier Abdullah Gul, Karzai said they had discussed ways to promote peace and cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad at the trilateral summit.
Karzai said Afghanistan was passing through an important phase‚ as there would be a complete transition of security to Afghan forces with the withdrawal of US and NATO forces at the end of 2014.
Afghanistan‚ Pakistan and Turkey shared strong bonds of Islamic brotherhood, said Gul, who congratulated Sharif on smooth democratic transition in Pakistan.
Sharif said his country was committed to an Afghan-led reconciliation process. He saw an inclusive political settlement as key to sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the wider region.
The premier reiterated that Pakistan would continue to extend all possible facilitation within its capacity to Afghanistan.
Sharif said his government would continue to work for the promotion of good neighbourly relations with Afghanistan.
“It is time for all Afghans to come forward and make concerted efforts for establishing peace and rebuilding their country,” he observed, saying they were working to build a new chapter in Pak-Afghan relations.
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