The mission has been shuttered due to security concerns following harassment of diplomats
Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul has announced it will remain shut indefinitely following the harassment of its diplomats by residents of Afghanistan’s capital.
In a statement, the Pakistani mission said that the “Consular Section of the Embassy of Pakistan, Kabul will be closed from tomorrow, Monday, 4th November, 2019 until further intimation” due to security concerns. Islamabad has also summoned Afghanistan’s charge d’affaires to protest the harassment of Pakistani diplomats in Kabul.
“The Afghan Charge d’affaires was summoned today to convey serious concerns over the safety and security of the diplomatic personnel of the Embassy of Pakistan, Kabul, and its sub-missions,” stated a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office, adding that the harassment had persisted for two days.
According to the Foreign Office, Pakistani officials’ vehicles have been obstructed, and motorcycles have also hit them during employees’ daily commute to the mission. It said Kabul had been informed that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities 1961, it was the Afghan government’s responsibility to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of diplomats.
The closure of the visa section is likely to have the greatest impact, as hundreds of Afghans apply for permission to travel to Pakistan daily. According to press outlet AFP, the consular section typically processes about 1,500 visa applications a day. A spokesman told the news agency that while the mission is Kabul was closed, visas would continue to be processed in Herat, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif.