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    Iran asked to stop deporting Afghans in winter

    KHOSTCITY(PAN): A number of tribal elders, religious scholars and other people on Thursday urged the Iranian government to stop expelling Afghan refugees in winter.

    "Deporting Afghan refugees from Iran in this cold winter is against the international laws," Khost provincial council head, Murad Khan Mangal, told a gathering of 200 people coming from various districts.

    "As a neighbouring country, Iran should stop forcing Afghans to leave, instead they should help them in this critical juncture as our Muslim brethren," he said.

    The Afghan government and the international community should intervene into the forced deportation of Afghans by Iranian officials, he added.

    Solidarity council chief, Ghazi Nawaz Tanai, on the occasion, blamed Iran for inflicting economical, cultural and political damages on Afghans.

    Iranhas been supporting its pro Afghan MPs to help them find way to the Parliament, he alleged, saying if Iran did not stop interfering into Afghanistan's internal affairs and torturing its citizens in that country, Afghans would launch a countrywide protest against Iran.

    Qasim Zadran, a tribal elder talking on behalf of Zadran tribe, condemned torturing Afghans in Iran. He urged the Afghan government and foreign soldiers to react against Iran brutalities.

    Religious scholar Maulvi Akbar Zaman told the gathering that Iran being an Islamic country had always been violating Islamic values and human rights.

    He made an appeal to the Afghan government and traders to cut off political and economical ties with Iran.

    The participants strongly condemned Iran's blocking of Afghanistan-bound fuel trucks, its interference into Afghanistan's parliamentary election and the forceful expulsion of Afghan refugees. They vowed to launch a protest movement against Iran if it continued repatriating Afghans in winter.

    Iranrecently expelled about 2,200 Afghans to the western province of Herat, which borders Iran.

    frm/ma