Showing yet again which side he is on. “Afghan president to free scores of Taliban fighters: Karzai condemned over betrayal of British war dead,” by Tamara Cohen for the Daily Mail, January 1 (thanks to Blazing Cat Fur):
Britain has condemned the release of Taliban prisoners accused of killing and maiming Western forces in Afghanistan.
To the fury of the UK, the US and victims’ families, president Hamid Karzai has freed 88 dangerous militants from a jail at Bagram, the former US air base run by the Afghan government.
The US wants them to be prosecuted and says 30 per cent carried out direct attacks that killed or wounded 60 coalition troops, and 40 per cent killed 57 Afghans, including police and security forces.
Last night the Foreign Office expressed serious concerns about the mass release, which the US says poses a major security threat, and the likelihood that the fighters could re-join the insurgency.
Tony Lewis, whose son Conrad was killed in Afghanistan in February 2011, said Mr Karzai showed scant concern for the lives of troops who served there.
Private Lewis, from Bournemouth, was killed by gunfire in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province. The 22-year-old was four months into his tour with 4th Battalion the Parachute Regiment.
Mr Lewis said: ‘We are still dealing with the impact of losing our son and we valued his life above all else. If people like Karzai are prepared to negotiate with these people, he clearly puts a low value on the lives of those who tried to help his country and his people.
‘Clearly, he has little regard for the sacrifices they have made.
‘He needs to explain why he is doing this and if he cannot justify it to the US and UK, he certainly cannot justify it to any parent who has lost their child there, or to his own people who have suffered at the hands of the Taliban.’…