A two-year-old report by Richard Colvin claims the former governor of Kandahar, Asadullah Khalid, was a “known human-rights abuser” who was intensely disliked by the local population and stood in the way of cleaning up the volatile region. And yet, Canadian officials rose to Khalid’s defense when Afghan President Hamid Karzai suggested he be removed, “thereby ensuring his continued tenure,” Colvin wrote. The report was written a full year before Khalid was finally re-assigned from the post after then-foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier publicly suggested Khalid should be removed. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon has admitted to Parliament that the whereabouts of an unknown number of prisoners captured by Canadians and turned over to Afghan authorities are a mystery to Canadian officials. According to Cannon, under the terms of the revised prisoner transfer agreement, Afghans are supposed to keep Canadians abreast of developments with prisoners, but “notification has been a challenge.” It’s been suggested some of the prisoners have been summarily released, after which they’ve been free to attack Canadian soldiers again.
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