After Pakistan, Now Afghanistan to take Iran to UN over border dispute


HERAT CITY - The existing border disputed between Afghanistan <link> and Iran would be taken to the UN, an official in western Herat province said on Wednesday.

Border and Tribal Affairs Director Nazir Ahmad Haidarzada told Pajhwok Afghan News the dispute was over two areas on the border between the two countries.

He accused the Iranian government of establishing bazaars at the zero point during the civil war to facilitate communities living on the border.

But the bazaars of Islam Qala and Kalata Nazar were shut by the government in 2011. He said Iran claimed the ownership of the two bazaars.

“If Iran claims the ownership of these two bazaars, we will refer the issue to the UN for a settlement,” the official warned, saying a joint delegation had reviewed the claims.

However, the director said, representatives of the neighbouring countries had differences on the issue. If not resolved bilaterally, the tiff would be taken to the UN, he added.

Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Khasan district who lives near the border, said Iran had initially set up small bazaars to provide the people with goods, fuel and other items.

But the neighbouring country, in violation of its commitments, continued occupying more Afghan territory in Islam Qala.

Haji Ghulam Siddique, 63, another resident, said: “The Iranians offered to provide food and other necessary items for Afghans. They brought their containers here.

“They exploited the opportunity they were given by the Afghan government of that time and captured our territory,” he alleged.

Ghulam Habib Hashami, a provincial council member, suggested the issue should be resolved through diplomatic channels. If that option failed, the dispute should be referred to the UN.

Jilani Farhad, the governor spokesman, told Pajhwok a delegation comprised of representatives from different departments, had been tasked with addressing the issue through diplomatic channels.

Officials of the Iranian consulate in Herat City, the provincial capital, refused to comment on the issue.