ISLAMABAD: The Fore­ign Office on Saturday asked Afghanistan to review its decision to close its consulate in Peshawar and rejec­ted the allegations related to a disputed property known as Afghan Market.

“We reject insinuations contained in the statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Ministry regarding a market in Peshawar. It is deeply regrettable that a distorted and misleading account of the issue and related events has been presented,” the FO said.

It explained that the issue about the market was between a private citizen and a purported bank from Afghanistan. It pointed out that a court had decided the matter in favour of the private citizen in 1998.

“The recent enforcement action by the local administration occurred after legal remedies were exhausted by the Afghan party to this legal dispute. We reject any comments casting aspersions on the judicial process in Pakistan,” it added.

Regretting the closure of the consulate general of Afghanistan in Peshawar in protest over the incident, the FO said it hoped that this step would be immediately reviewed and that a private legal case would not be allowed to adversely affect the bilateral relations.

On Friday, Afghanistan closed its consulate in Peshawar for an indefinite period to protest the removal of its national flag from the market.

“We condemn removal of our national flag from the market by police and close down the consulate in Peshawar for an indefinite period,” Afghan Consul General Muhammad Hashim Niazi had said at a press conference.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019