Afghanistan’s leading religious body has called on the United States to hand over the notorious Bagram prison to the Afghan government.
The government-funded National Ulema Council said in a statement issued on Saturday that if Washington failed to hand over the Bagram prison, also called the Parwan Detention Facility, US troops in the country would be treated as occupiers and could face consequences. "If the Americans do not act on their promises (to hand over Bagram)... then that means occupation and they might like to see the reaction to that," it said. In addition, the council stated that President Hamid Karzai’s recent remarks against the United States were "the true voice of the Muslim people of Afghanistan". Last week, Karzai accused the US of acting in cahoots with the Taliban to justify the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan. Since March 2012, when Washington and Kabul reached an agreement to fully hand over the Bagram prison to the Afghan government, more than 3,000 detainees have either been handed over to the Afghan authorities or released. In November 2012, Karzai ordered Afghan forces to take control of the prison and accused US officials of failing to fully comply with the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding on Detentions. On March 9, the US canceled a ceremony where the US military was to hand over full control of the prison to Kabul.