A Chance at Redemption
Repatriating Pakistani detainees from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan and guaranteeing them justice could be Pakistan’s only chance at making some positive headway. But both governments show little resolve in doing so.
Bagram prison lies adjacent to the Bagram Airfield, 40 kilometers northeast of Kabul. In the early days of the Afghan war, Bagram started out as a collection point where U.S. troops would bring captured militants before transporting them to Guantanamo. As controversy over Guantanamo Bay grew and court chal- lenges to the Cuban base’s detention scheme progressed, Bagram became a more critical permanent facility for indefinite U.S. detention. According to a report titled, “Detained and Denied in Afghanistan,” published by Human Rights First, from January 2009 when President Obama came into office to mid-2011, the total detainee popula- tion in Bagram nearly tripled, from 650 detainees to 1,900.
On March 9, 2012, the U.S. and Afghanistan signed a memorandum of understanding, transferring official control of detention centers and Afghan detainees to Afghan hands. While the great majority of Bagram detainees are Afghan nationals, ap-