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Pakistan envoy meets Karzai

July 09, 2003

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PESHAWAR, July 8: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday extended a personal apology for a raid on Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul, and offered guarantees to Islamabad against future attacks.

“Karzai was sad. He apologized for the incident, offered compensation for the damage caused, offered full protection and guarantees against any future attacks,” Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul Rustam Shah Mohmand told Dawn after a meeting with the Afghan president.

“The assurance has come from the head of the state. Naturally, I am satisfied,” Mr Mohmand said of the meeting that took place only hours after the attack.

The Pakistani embassy assessed the damage caused at Rs10 million.

He said he was left with nothing to run the embassy in a proper manner. “But we are not going to go anywhere. We are staying put,” he remarked.

The ambassador said the alleged Pakistani incursion into Afghan territory also came up for discussion during his meeting with President Karzai.

He said he clarified that it were the paramilitary forces of Jalalabad Corps Commander, Malik Hazrat Ali, who were firing on Pakistani troops and not the other way around.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the Afghan charge d’affaires in Islamabad who was summoned to the foreign office by acting foreign secretary Tariq Osman Hyder.

He was reminded of the Afghan government’s responsibility under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to protect diplomatic missions, property and personnel. A statement by the foreign office said: “The acting foreign secretary Mr Tariq Osman Hyder has underlined that the Afghan government provide immediate and effective security for the Pakistan embassy in Kabul as well as Pakistan’s other consulates in Afghanistan; apologise for the assault, pay compensation for the damages inflicted; and hold an inquiry to assign responsibility for the deliberate failure of the security forces to prevent the assault and to identify and punish the perpetrators.”

The spokesman said: “This morning the Afghan security forces surrounded the embassy and informed that they had been positioned to protect the embassy. The Pakistan ambassador then went to meet with a senior Afghan official to seek guarantees for full protection of the Pakistan embassy premises and personnel.”