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Afghan president: U.S. violating detainee pact

By The Associated Press

This article was published November 19, 2012 at 7:13 a.m.

— Afghanistan’s president has accused U.S. forces of continuing to capture and hold Afghans in violation of an agreement signed earlier this year between the two countries.

Hamid Karzai’s late Sunday statement, which did not include any specific demands for the U.S., was made days after the beginning of negotiations on a bilateral security agreement that will govern the U.S. military presence in the country after the majority of troops draw down in 2014.

Karzai’s critics say he frequently strikes populist, nationalist stances that give him leverage in talks with the Americans.

The Afghan president said some detainees are still being held by U.S. forces even though Afghan judges have ruled that they be released. He also decried the continued arrest of Afghans by U.S. forces.

The two countries signed the detainee transfer pact in March but the handover of detention facilities has been slowed by the U.S., which has argued both that the Afghans are not ready to take over their management and insisted that the Afghan government agree to hold without trial some detainees that the U.S. deems too dangerous to release.

“These acts are completely against the agreement that has been signed between Afghanistan and the U.S. President,” said the statement, released by Karzai’s office after the president was briefed by judicial authorities on the transfer.

He urged Afghan officials to “take serious measures” to push for taking over all responsibility for the detention center on the edge of the main U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan.

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