Hundreds of protesters demonstrated against Afghan President Ashraf Ghani during his visit to Australia on Monday.
The protesters cited alleged discrimination against Hazara ethnic group and deportation of failed Afghan asylum seekers.
The protest came as President Ghani met with Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in what marked first visit by an Afghan president to the country.
“Afghanistan is extremely dangerous for the Hazaras if they are forced to voluntarily deported to Afghanistan,” Barat Ali Batoor, a protester, said.
“There needs to be a moratorium on any more forced repatriations,” he said.
Afghanistan and Australia signed an MoU in 2011 over repatriation of failed asylum seekers.
However, Afghan government has said that the agenda of the visit is over cooperation between the two countries in the areas of commerce, higher education, agriculture and mines, not sending back refugees.
Shah Hussain Murtazawi, the acting spokesman of Afghan president, on Monday compared the protesters to the Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian leftist political-militant organization in exile that advocates a violent overthrow of the government of Iran.
‘Afghanistan, Australia share strong bond’
Ahead of the meeting with Ghani, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbell in a statement said that Afghanistan and Australia a “solid connection which has been forged over more than a century of shared history and contact between our two peoples.”
He said that the discussion will focus on “our ongoing security and development cooperation to help Afghanistan in its efforts to become more prosperous, secure and self-reliant.”
Ghani is expected to stay in Australia until Wednesday, when he will fly to Indonesia.
(With inputs from AP, APP)