February 17, 2013

Former Pakistani Envoy: Iran's Help Needed for Afghan Peace, Stability


TEHRAN (FNA)- Establishment of stability in Afghanistan without Iran's assistance is not possible, Pakistan's former Ambassador to Kabul Rostam Shah Mehmand said, stressing Iran's important and strategic situation in the region.

"Improvement of the trend of peace and stability in Afghanistan is impossible without considering Iran's role and support," Mehmand said in an interview with the Islamic republic news agency on Sunday.

He said that Iran's power and might is necessary to maintain and develop the interests of the whole Muslim world, and said, "Iran is able to maintain tranquility and stability in the region."

Mehmand described drug trafficking problem as one of the regional concerns, specially for Iran, and said that's one of the reasons why "the Islamic Republic urges the existence of a stable Afghanistan."

Iran is one of the most important donors to Afghanistan which has kept its promises to help to the reconstruction of the war-hit country.

Iran has built some roads, power transmission lines, and border stations, among the other infrastructure projects which would better link the two nations.

Iran has also contributed more than $50 million annually to Afghan anti-narcotics efforts in the last 8 years.

In November, a senior Iranian legislator underscored Tehran and Kabul's abundant commonalities in different fields, and said there are good grounds for the further development of economic relations and cooperation between the two countries.

The remarks were made by Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi in a meeting with Leader of the Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan Mohammad Mohaqiq in Tehran.

Referring to the historical, cultural and religious affinities between the two nations, Boroujerdi said the Islamic Republic of Iran has always backed the Afghan nation in all ups and downs in the past three decades and hosted millions of Afghan refugees.
Given the invaluable experience of Iranian parliament over half a century, he said there exists good ground for expansion of broad-based parliamentary relations and economic cooperation between the two countries.

Mohaqiq, for his part, referred to the longstanding cultural and religious ties between the two countries, and called for benefiting from each other's capabilities to broaden economic cooperation.

Iranian MP Criticizes Islamabad's Weakness in Protecting Pakistani Shiites
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Pakistani government has failed to give enough care to the protection of the lives of its Shiite community, a senior Iranian lawmaker legislator said on Sunday.

Member of the parliament's Presiding Board Alireza Monadi Sefidaan expressed deep regret over the growing trend of anti-Shiite attacks in Pakistan, and said that the long-term goal of extremist groups is massacring the Shiites in genocidal attacks.

"The negligence shown by Pakistan's central government has allowed these terrorist groups to kill Shiites easily and carelessly in an effort to change the demographical strategy of Pakistan to the loss of the Shiites," Monadi told ICANA.

He further lashed out at the international circles for their silence over these crimes and the extremist groups' genocidal attacks on the Shiite Muslims in Pakistan.

In the latest attack on the Pakistani Shiite community, a bomb blast killed at least 81 people, including women and children, and injured 200 others.

The bomb was attached to a motorcycle outside a crowded vegetable market in Quetta, and targeted the area's Shiite community.

The death toll has risen to 81 after law enforcement dragged several more bodies from the rubble of the collapsed two-story building.

Several houses and shops were completely destroyed by the blast. Security officials said that an estimated 100 kilograms of explosives was used in the attack.

Following the attack, Iran strongly condemned the bombing, and warned that the terrorist attacks are aimed at sowing discord in the Muslim country.

In a message to his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani on Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi condoled with the people and government of Pakistan over the death of the country's citizens in the recent terrorist attack.

He said that such criminal acts are in line with the aliens' divisive plots against Pakistan's people and interests, and added that these crimes serve the inauspicious goals of the enemies of Islam.

Salehi also called on the Pakistani officials and religious leaders to take necessary measures to prevent bloodshed in the Muslim state.

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