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    Noor defends naming Balkh street after Iranians

    MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Balkh Governor Atta Mohammad Noor on Saturday defended his administration’s decision to name a street in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital, after slain Iranian diplomats.

    Two months ago, the provincial administration decided to name the street after the seven Iranian diplomats who were killed during the Taliban regime.

    Addressing a gathering, Noor said the move -- aimed at improving ties with Iran -- had been recommended by a commission and approved by his government.

    Several places in Afghanistan had been named after foreigners, the governor said, citing the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Kabul, Sheikh Zahid University in Khost and Abraham Lincoln library in Mazar-i-Sharif.

    The governor defended the decision while Meshrano Jirga Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar was also present at the gathering. Noor said the upper house had dubbed him as a traitor without investigating the matter.

    Muslimyar said a delegation had been formed to look into the issue and a final decision in this regard would come once the team completed its work.

    He said only the information and culture minister had the authority to name streets or places after individuals. He said calling Noor a traitor was some lawmakers’ personal view.