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ASA denies Iran's hand in its affairs.

KABUL (PAN): The Academy of Science of Afghanistan (ASA) on Thursday denied claims about Iran's interference in its affairs and asked complainants to share evidence so that stern action can be taken.

Several ASA members recently criticised Iran's interference in the running of the academy and said it could threaten Afghanistan's sovereignty.

ASA was established in 1978, after the merger of Afghanistan history association, Aryana encyclopedia and the international centre for Pashto language studies.

The academy specialises in different sciences and conducts research in cultural and economic development of the country -- monitoring water resources, soil, temperature, energy, mineral and other natural resources.

During a trip of ASA head, Abdul Bari Rashid and the former chairman of High Peace Council, the late Burhanuddin Rabbani in May 2011, to attend the Islamic Brotherhood Conference in Iran, Rashid was alleged to have established links with Iranian officials, an ASA official said on condition of anonymity.

After the visit, Iran' s interference increased in the academy's affairs and Iran funded salaries of ASA members and provided other financial aid for members to lobby for Iran, he said.

The statement said ASA dismissed these claims as unfounded and nobody has interfered in the independent organisation.

The statement asked all writers and intellectuals to inform the relevant departments and ASA, if they have any credible evidences about the alleged claims.

It said:"We want to punish the offenders, if there were any proves. If anyone claimed without any evidence, ASA would not keep silent and take legal action against them."

ASA condemned incorrect writings or those that insult others and said it was against freedom of speech and democracy.

It said the some elements tried to disrupt the recent success and achievements of the ASA by spreading false accusations.

"Our functions are clear to all and we are aware of all issues and we follow them. (We are) ready to respond to any claims, but such claims can't disrupt our activities."

mm/vp

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:May 3, 2012
Words:342
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