17 November IRNA

Iranian police chief urges Afghan Northern Alliance to tighten border security

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Iran's police chief, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has demanded the victorious United Front to establish security at Afghanistan's restive western borders with Iran and stop the increase in smuggling of narcotics.

In an interview with the local press Qalibaf said "We demand better control and border guarding with the deployment of Afghanistan's United Front forces on the eastern borders of the country (Iran)," he said. "Border posts between Iran and Afghanistan should be beefed up under the new situation and suitable cooperation be forged among the two countries' border guards," Qalibaf added.

The Iranian police chief also asked the future Afghan government to ban poppy cultivation in the country and replace it with other agricultural products. The Northern Alliance is responsible for much of the opium that originates from Afghanistan as the Taliban had banned the planting of poppy seeds.

He said Iran will upgrade its cooperation with Afghanistan for the establishment of security on the two countries' plus 900-km borders after a new popular government takes shape in that country. Qalibaf said that Iran's armed forces have succeeded in establishing relative security in the country's eastern borders after killing or arresting 1,700 bandits in the past year. "Once crossing borders into the Islamic Republic of Iran, drug traffickers are either killed, arrested or flee back to the other side
of the border," he said. He said Iranian citizens near the eastern borders have been assured to return home and lead a normal life.

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