FO summons Afghan chargé d'affaires over 'harrassment of Pakistani diplomats' in Kabul

Published November 3, 2019
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal speaks to the media at the Foreign office in Islamabad on March 28. — AFP/File
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal speaks to the media at the Foreign office in Islamabad on March 28. — AFP/File

The Foreign Office on Sunday summoned the Afghan chargé d'affaires in Islamabad to protest the "harassment" over the past two days of the staff of the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul and its sub-missions.

According to a statement issued by the FO spokesperson, Dr Mohammad Faisal, "serious concerns" were conveyed over the safety and security of the diplomatic personnel working at the embassy.

"The Afghan Cd’A was informed that the officers and staff of the Embassy of Pakistan were being harassed over the past two days. They were obstructed on the road and the Embassy vehicles were also hit by motorcycles while going towards the Embassy," said the statement.

The Cd'A was reminded of the Afghanistan government's responsibility, as a party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities 1961, of ensuring "safety, security and freedom of movement to all members of the Mission."

The Cd’A was reminded that being party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities 1961, it is the responsibility of the Government of Afghanistan to ensure safety, security and freedom of movement to all members of the Mission".

He was asked to relay Pakistan's concerns with Afghan authorities and to urge them "to immediately investigate these security violations and harassment incidents".

It was also requested that a report in this regard be shared with Pakistan and that measures are taken to guard against the recurrence of such incidents in the future.

Later in the day, a notification was issued by the Embassy stating its decision to halt operations.

"Due to security reasons, Consular Section of the Embassy of Pakistan, Kabul will be closed from tomorrow, Monday, November 4, until further intimation," said the press release.

The incident comes a few weeks after Afghanistan closed its consulate in Peshawar for an indefinite period to protest the removal of its national flag from a disputed area known as Afghan Market.

The FO, in its response had regretted Afghanistan's decision and asked the government to review it. It had also rejec­ted the allegations raised by the Afghan government related to the disputed property.

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,” the FO had said.

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