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MPs doubt forces' ability to control Bagram jail

MPs doubt forces' ability to control Bagram jail

Mar 27, 2013 - 19:45

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Some lawmakers, hailing the full handover of Bagram jail a positive move towards recognition of the country's sovereignty, on Wednesday expressed their doubts about the ability of Afghan forces to secure the notorious prison.

Resolving one of the most contentious issues between the allies, the US ceded full control of the military prison known as Parwan Detention Centre to Afghan forces on Monday. The jail’s transition came as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on an unannounced visit in Kabul.

Shakiba Hashmi, who represents southern Kandahar province in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon, said President Karzai should have consulted the parliament on the transfer, insisting Afghan forces lacked the ability to effectively guard the facility.

She said some dangerous prisoners were being held at Bagram and, if released, they could threaten the security situation in the lead-up to and during presidential and provincial council elections.

The legislator asked Karzai to address their concerns about security of the jail. Her remarks were echoed by Gul Badshah Majidi, from southeastern Paktia province. He too was of the view Afghan forces would not be able to keep security for the prison.

"We are speaking in light of past experiences, several inmates have escaped from prisons in Kandahar and other provinces," he said.

He said the jail should have been handed over to the ministry of interior instead of the defence because the former was responsible for prisons' affairs.

However, Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi explained his ministry insisted on controlling a jail that was of great importance.

Nahid Farid, a lawmaker from western Herat province, said though the handover highlighted an increasingly sovereign Afghanistaninfo-icon, yet the presence of dangerous inmates remained a concern.

The lawmaker called for dangerous inmates to be tried at the earliest possible so that their fate was determined.





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