Monday Sep 10, 201204:41 PM GMT
‘US must respect Afghanistan government over Bagram prison’
Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:40PM
Interview with Mohammad Azizi, political analyst from Kabul
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Since we are in the transition period and the Afghan government is trying its best to take control of all security issues, the Afghan government, of course, will go with their own words and with their own demands that the Americans should control themselves and that they should behave in accordance to the demands of the Afghan government.”

The United States has officially handed over control of the controversial Bagram military prison to the Afghan government.


Afghan President Hamid Karzai hailed the move in a ceremony on Monday, but there are still unresolved issues as the US still wants to have control over some of the prisoners in the detention center.

However, many view the transfer as a symbolic move as the US says it still retains the right to arrest Afghans.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Mohammad Azizi, political analyst from Kabul, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: I want to get your assessment on how a significant move this is, the handing over of Bagram prison to the Afghans.

Azizi: Point number one is that the Afghan transition of security assignments from the international forces, the Afghan forces, are part of the package ... the movement of the control from the Americans towards the Afghans. I understand that it is a very significant move.

Though politically, President Hamid Karzai and his cabinet members have been talking too much of a direct link of control of the prisons to the sovereignty of the country.

However, I’ll pretty much put it in the context of the transition. It is part of the transition.

Again, it is a vital step for the Afghan government that they were able to satisfy the requirements that were put by the international community in particular, by the human rights organizations, that the Afghan government may torture the prisoners and the other conditions that they had. The Afghan government had successfully met all those requirements and today we see that more than 90 percent of the Bagram prison and the prisoners are moved toward the Afghan government, and the Afghan officials will be controlling this prison now.

Press TV: Could you expand on that point, that the Afghan government has of course criticized the US for saying that it can still arrest Afghans if it so wishes. How does that respect Afghan sovereignty at all?

Azizi: In the context of the international law, if we want to discuss this issue, the existence of the international forces in Afghanistan is still per the United Nations resolution. If the Americans are insisting that they will still be arresting Afghans, based on the UN resolution, they have got that right.

However, again, since we are in the transition period and the Afghan government is trying its best to take control of all security issues, the Afghan government, of course, will go with their own words and with their own demands that the Americans should control themselves and that they should behave in accordance to the demands of the Afghan government so that the Afghan government could establish its rate as well as to get its wider legitimacy among the opposition and particularly against the armed opposition.

GMA/SS
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