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Afghan parliamentarian welcomes former detainees in quest for peace

By MCC (SW) Maria Yager , Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435

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Jan. 31, 2011 — CENTCOM

An Afghan man examines his certificate of release from the Detention Facility in Parwan, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. More than 300 former detainees have been released since January 2010 through Afghan-led shuras. Photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager.

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Jan. 31, 2011) — An Afghan parliamentarian offered his support and encouraged five former detainees from the Detention Facility in Parwan to help bring peace and security to Afghanistan during a release shura Jan. 29.

“If Afghans really want to ensure peace in the country, they can,” said Abdul Jabar Shelgaray, a parliamentarian from Ghazni province asking his fellow Afghans to support the Afghan government.  “But, if they don’t really want it, it is not going to happen.”

Shelgaray said there has been a long history of war in this country and it is up to Afghans to bring peace.

“These foreign troops have come here and even they cannot secure the country properly without our support,” he said.  “If we don’t support the government, if we don’t support security there will be no security in the country.”

Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Safiullah Safi, Parwan and Pol-e-Charki Military Police Brigade commander, presided over the shura and thanked Shelgaray, former Nangarhar parliamentarian Safeah Saddiq, village elders and detainee family members for their pledge to support and monitor the released men and reintegrate them into their communities.

“It is great that these men are being released,” Safiullah said. “I hope that they can go home and be productive citizens for Afghanistan.”

The Parwan and Pol-e-Charki Military Police Brigade is responsible for the confinement of detainees and national security threats throughout Afghanistan, and for the training, equipping and assigning of ANA personnel for the guard force and headquarters staff at the DFIP.

After speaking at the shura Saffiullah, Shelgaray, and Saddiq embraced the released men and presented them release certificates.

“Your important job is to pass this message to your elders and the people in your village – by killing each other, we are not going to be able to have a government, we are not going to be able to help our people and we are not going to be able to have security in our country,” Shelgaray told the released men.

The Afghan program for releasing detainees, implemented in January 2010 and numbering more than 300 released detainees, stresses the importance of reintegration into Afghan society.

A well-orchestrated release and reintegration plan ensures counterinsurgency principles are considered at each step in the process.  The shura release process supports the reintegration of low- and mid-level fighters and leaders peacefully from detention to Afghan society.  Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan work closely with the Afghan Ministry of Defense to reach out to trusted Afghan partners to establish a similar, singular point of contact for these processes.  This ensures consistency and continuity, making the release process more effective.  The overarching goal is to reduce the risk that a released individual returns to the insurgency.

CJIATF-435, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and U.S. interagency and international partners, conducts operations in detention, corrections, the judicial sector and biometrics.   Ultimately, conditions permitting, CJIATF-435 will transition detention operations to Afghan control while promoting Rule of Law practices.