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Pakistan Embassy expresses deep grief over loss of lives in Jalalabad stampede

KABUL: Pakistan Embassy in Afghanistan has expressed its deep grief and sadness over the reports of loss of Afghan lives and injuring of people in a stampede at a stadium in Jalalabad near Pakistani consulate, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

In a statement, Pakistan Embassy expressed ‘deep grief and sadness’ over the casualties in a stampede sparked five-kilometre away from Pakistan Consulate in Jalalabad, where applicants for Pakistani visa were being gathered and organised by the provincial authorities of Afghanistan.

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Afghanistan expresses its deep grief and sadness over the reports of loss of Afghan lives and injuring of people in a stampede at a stadium in Jalalabad, five (5) Km away from Pakistan Consulate in Jalalabad, where applicants for Pakistani visa were being gathered and organized by the provincial Afghan authorities.

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The embassy showed sympathies with the families of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured in this unfortunate incident.

“We would like to emphasize again that in view of brotherly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan Embassy in Kabul and our Consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif continue to issue multiple entry visas to the Afghan applicants for their visits to Pakistan for family, business, medical treatment, education and other purposes.”

Pakistan has recently announced its new visa policy for enhanced facilitation to Afghan nationals for long term multiple entry visas which is being implemented by the Embassy and Consulates in Afghanistan.

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The embassy remains committed to ensure smooth and effective management of visa applicants at our end, it added.

“We seek the understanding and cooperation of Afghan people and authorities for better and secure management of the Afghan visa applicants.”

Earlier, at least 15 people were killed in a stampede among thousands of Afghans gathered near Pakistan’s consulate on Tuesday as jostling broke out between people applying for visas, officials in the eastern city of Jalalabad said.

An estimated 3,000 Afghans had congregated on the open ground, usually used for sports or pubic gatherings, outside the consulate, waiting to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa, two provincial officials told Reuters a day after the tragedy.

According to Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member, eleven of the 15 victims were women, and several senior citizens were among more than a dozen injured.

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