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Karzai, Allen clash over prison transfer

Karzai, Allen clash over prison transfer

Sep 08, 2012 - 20:52

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): President Hamid Karzai on Saturday traded barbs with the top NATOinfo-icon and US military commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon on comprehensive security transition to Afghan forces, an official said.

“The verbal clash erupted at a meeting, where the president demanded the transfer of all prisons across the country, including the Bagram detention facility, to Afghan authorities,” the official said.

Requesting not to be named, the source confided to Pajhwok Afghan News that Karzai was infuriated by ISAFinfo-icon Commander John Allen’s refusal to come up with a categorical response to his call.

Karzai also protested to Gen. Allen about the arrest of 600 people by foreign troops in willful operations after the two sides agreed on shifting the control of all prisons to the Afghan government, the official added.

According to the source, the ISAF commander insisted that some inmates should remain in US custody.

With US ambassador James Cunningham present on the occasion, Allen reportedly warned if Kabul clung to its stance, Washington would withdraw its ambassador from Afghanistan.

In response to the warning, Karzai said in “a harsh tone” that his administration would stick to the memorandum of understanding it had signed with foreign troops on shifting prisoners to Afghan control. “

“Afghanistan would not brook any change to that agreement and wanted all prisoners to be transferred to its custody,” Karzai was quoted as telling Allen. He also asked the ISAF commander to respect the MoU.

Earlier in the day, a statement issued from the Presidential Palace said Karzai had signed a decree for the complete handover of Bagram detention centre’s affairs to Afghans.

Under the decree, after the handover, the international forces would have no right to run prisons on Afghanistan’s soil. It directed the departments concerned to ensure the transfer on Monday.




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