Bagram Handover to Happen Next Week: Karzai
Kabul – President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday said that the government will take control of Bagram prison from the US next week – the third time in less than a week that he has named a new deadline. Karzai said in a speech in southern Helmand province yesterday that the handover will happen next week on Saturday or Sunday. On Sunday he had said it would happen this week. And last Wednesday he said it would happen last Saturday.
“I am sure you are all aware of the arguments about the Bagram prison handover. I urge you all to stand with me and say that Karzai is right, and we want to take responsibility of the prison and those who are innocent should be released. God willing, this demand will be implemented practically, by Saturday or Sunday next week,” he said during an official visit to Helmand yesterday.
The handover was due to take place on Saturday with a signing ceremony when the US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel was visiting, but was delayed after disagreements over a few points in the new memorandum.
More than 3,000 suspected Taliban insurgents are being detained at Bagram. Last September, the US handed control of most of the high-security prison over to the Afghans, but did not transfer 600 or so detainees captured after the inital memorandum was signed in March 2012. The White House said on Monday that the US is continuing to work with Afghanistan on the transfer of the prison to the Afghans. (Tolonews)