Afghanistan closes Peshawar consulate over ‘harassment’ of diplomats


Afghanistan closed its consulate in the provincial capital on Tuesday as protest after the Afghan consul general’s vehicle was checked at a security checkpost.

The consul general’s vehicle was searched at a checkpost in the Cantt area of the city.

The Afghan officials have confirmed the consulate will remain closed for an indefinite amount of time.

Security officials stated the vehicle was not following the specified protocol for official and diplomatic vehicles, hence it was stopped was a security check.

“I have come to know of the incident, and we will issue an official statement after obtaining all the relevant information from the concerned quarters,” said Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria.

The closure of the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar comes at a time when Pakistani authorities have made arrangements to ensure border management in the Torkham crossing.

Earlier in May, the Torkham border crossing was reopened after Pakistan and Afghanistan reached an understanding to reopen it.

The decision to reopen the border crossing was made at a meeting between Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal.

The previously unscheduled meeting was arranged as old irritants in the bilateral relationship — rows over border management and terrorism concerns — resurfaced ahead of the upcoming meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group, a four-nation initiative for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Pakistan had closed the border crossing after Afghan authorities, who do not recognise the Durand Line as an international border, reacted to an attempt to fence the crossing for “controlling unauthorised cross-border movements”.

The move left thousands of people stranded on both sides of the border, be­sides halting the movement of cargo vehicles.


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