Pakistan has indefinitely closed its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan due to security reasons and mounting tensions between the two neighbouring countries. Earlier, Pakistani diplomats complained of harassment by the Afghan officials in Kabul.
The closure of the visa section will come as a massive setback for many Afghans, hundreds of whom apply daily for permits to travel to Pakistan where they seek medical treatment, goods and university educations.
A message shared on WhatsApp by an embassy spokesperson said the consular section would be closed as of Monday “until further intimation”. The spokesperson told AFP that the consular section typically processes about 1,500 visa applications a day.
Earlier, the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) summoned the Afghan chargé d’affaires to express serious concerns over the safety and security of embassy personnel in the region.
According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office, Pakistani diplomats were clogged by Afghan officials on roads, often hit by unidentified motorbikes while heading towards Pakistani Embassy from their residencies in the capital city.
Pakistani diplomats have complained against the hurling of inappropriate comments, abusive language throughout their encounters with Afghan officials.
In the light of Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities 1961, the chargé d’affaires was reminded about the responsibility of the Afghan government to ensure safety, security and freedom of movement to all members of the mission.
He was asked to convey to the Afghan authorities to immediately investigate the incidents and share the report with Pakistan. The Afghan official also urged to take necessary measures to guard against the recurrence of such incidents in the future.