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    Ali denies receiving money to derail Afghan-US pact

    KABUL (PAN): Hazrat Ali, a powerful lawmaker from eastern Nangarhar province, on Saturday vehemently rejected claims that Iran had given him money to be distributed to his colleagues to block the approval of a US-Afghan strategic deal in parliament.

    Two days ago, a government source told Pajhwok Afghan News that Iran had set aside $25 million to  block the parliamentary approval of the Afghan-US strategic cooperation agreement.

    The neighbouring country has allegedly paid a colossal amount of money to Wolesi Jirga member Ali in return to oppose the deal, which was signed by President Hamid Karzai and his American counterpart Barack Obama on May 2nd.

    Although the Iranian Embassy in Kabul denied the claim as preposterous, the source insisted that Ali had been tasked to convince other MPs to reject the pact. But Ali, also head of the Mujahideen Council in eastern Afghanistan, strongly rejected the allegation as a false propaganda.

    He told Pajhwok Afghan News during an interview that the propaganda had been launched by the enemies of Islam, Muslims and Mujahideen.

    The former jihadi commander said he had fought for the country’s defence and lived in exile for many years and also resisted the Taliban in the interest of the nation. “I am not a salve of anyone. I do not work for anyone. I am a mujahid (holy warrior) and will continue to serve my country and my people,” Ali said.

    The source had said Ali was believed to have paid several MPs $5,000 to $10,000 each who was ready to ensure the pact failed to pass at the assembly, but did not reveal exactly how many MPs received the money.

    The source had also claimed that the spouse of Ali was an Iranian citizen and that he owned a house in Mashhad.

     

    ma/vp



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