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    Afghan MPs fault Ahmadinejad’s remarks

    KABUL (PAN): Some Meshrano Jirga members on Tuesday denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks about Afghanistan as interference in the country’s internal affairs.

    Speaking at the 5th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Ahmadinejad said on Monday said financial support had failed to provide a breakthrough in resolving the Afghan crises.

    The NATO-led counterinsurgency campaign was a lame excuse for Afghanistan’s occupation, he alleged, claiming most of war-hit nation’s problems had been created by the international presence.

    Leaders of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman and others attended the two-day conference.

    The twin menace of terrorism and drug trafficking could be overcome if foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan, believed the Iranian president, who demanded the immediate withdrawal of NATO-led soldiers and asked the US to compensate Afghans.

    Meshrano Jirga (Senate) member Nisar Ahmad Haris said the Iranian president had no right to seek war reparations from the US-led global fraternity for Afghanistan.

    Due to the international community’s presence, Afghanistan had seen a lot of development and improvement in terms of security, he said, adding the Afghans had been able to find employment opportunities.

    Senator Abdul Hanan Haqwayun also faulted the Iranian leader’s speech as "irresponsible".  He said President Karzai should have told him that he had no right to make such remarks.

    Another lawmaker, Khaliq Dad Balaghi, said Ahmadinejad’s views were more dangerous than interference from Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).

    He accused Tehran of allowing Taliban to set up bases in three Iranian cities. "Iran is directly involved in fanning ethnic, linguistic and sectarian tensions in Afghanistan," he said.

    Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said the Meshrano Jirga would pass issue a resolution condemning the remarks of Ahmadinejad.