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Pakistan closes consulate in Afghan city of Jalalabad

KABUL: Pakistan has closed its Consulate General in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan over meddling in the diplomatic office’s internal affairs by local officials.

“The Embassy wishes to inform that the Consulate General will remain closed until the security arrangements are complete to the satisfaction of the embassy,” the Pakistani embassy in Kabul said in a press release on Friday.

The embassy said the decision has been made in reaction to provincial governor Hayatullah Hayat’s intervention in activities of the consulate.

“The Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul deeply regrets undue intervention of Governor Hayatullah Hayat in the functioning of the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Jalalabad, which is complete violation of the Vienna Convention of the Consular Relations 1963.”

The embassy also said it has requested the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “kindly refrain the governor from interfering in the functioning of the Consulate General and to ensure restoration of security of the consulate office as it existed on August 28, 2018.”

The Afghan governor had reportedly visited the Pakistani Consulate General on Thursday after receiving complaints by visa applicants.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the consulate was closed over security concerns and to protect the Pakistani citizens in the city.

Speaking to ARY News, he said that Afghan government has been apprised over the decision to close the consulate and the security situation. He hoped that the consulate will re-open after the security situation improves.

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