A view of the Bagram Detention Center in the northeastern province of Parwan, Afghanistan
The commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan says a full transfer of prisoners from the US control to Afghan supervision will not occur as long as they pose a threat to foreign forces.
General Joseph Dunford said Saturday, “If there’s a threat to the force, we will not conduct the transfer. If there are people that need to be detained, we will make sure they are detained.”
The Bagram Detention Center in the northeastern province of Parwan has become a source of controversy between the Afghan government and NATO as the Western military alliance defies calls to hand over all the detainees to Kabul.
The US military was scheduled to hand over Bagram and its estimated 3,000 inmates to Afghan authorities on Saturday. However, the handover ceremony was unexpectedly canceled.
Dunford also stated, “There’s probably a difference of opinion. We certainly don’t have anyone in the detention facility that we think doesn’t deserve to be there.”
The Afghan government has said in a presidential statement, “President Karzai stressed that all efforts must be made to make sure the handover happens this week and that Afghanistan’s sovereignty comes into full exercise.”
An agreement on the transfer of the controversial prison to Afghan forces was signed in 2012. The transfer had previously been canceled last November.