OTTAWA - Canada sent Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai a diplomatic kick in the pants for Valentine's Day.
"Canada is deeply concerned by the government of Afghanistan's decision to release 65 detainees from the Parwan Detention Center," said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in a statement. "Some of these individuals are reported to be directly linked to the deaths of members of the coalition forces and fellow Afghans, including women and children."
Baird's statement came a day after dozens of suspected Taliban terrorists were set loose from prison before they could be tried in court.
Video released by the Afghan defence ministry showed the prisoners shaking hands with Afghan military officials as they left prison.
Baird says the Afghan government needs to make sure those released don't "pose a continuing threat to Afghans and members of the international community."
His statement is a dramatic change from the warmth that used to exist between the two governments.
In 2006, Karzai addressed Parliament, saying that Canadians who died fighting the Taliban were "among the greatest of their generation."
Now Karzai responds to criticism of his actions by calling on governments to "stop harassing" his country's judicial system.
Col. (ret'd.) Alain Pellerin, with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, says Karzai's behaviour is upsetting.
"For those who are still on the ground (in Afghanistan) and for those who have been there and have fought and (have) seen their friends die on the ground, it's a very frustrating experience," he said.
In total, 158 Canadian Forces personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2002.
- with files from Reuters.