Pakistan accused of mounting pressure on Afghan diplomats
An official at the Afghan embassy in Islamabad, wishing anonymity, told Pajhwok Afghan News that sixt months ago Pakistan had trampled on diplomatic principles in arresting the diplomats.
Having relevant documents substantiating their identities, the diplomats were released as a result of repeated contacts from the Afghan embassy with the Pakistan government.
Some of them were picked up from their residences while others were stopped on their way to office before being taken to security stations, the source revealed.
The arrests were for a brief period of time, however. Afghan diplomats said to be under pressure in Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad. They cannot attach their own number plates to their cars in Quetta.
The Pakistan government warned Afghan diplomats on daily basis against visiting one location or the other because of security concerns, the source said.
Islamabad had recently promised to allow the opening of an Afghan consulate in Lahore, but later asked Kabul to let it establish its mission in Khost City.
The Afghan consulate in Lahore, where a large number of Afghan citizens live and traders did business in the past, has been closed by the Pakistan government.
The official continued Afghanistan abandoned efforts to reopen its consulate in Lahore after the Pakistan government demanded the opening of a consulate in Khost City.
On the other hand, the source claimed, the Pakistan government had also suspended the exchange of visits and sports events. Afghan sportsmen were supposed to play in the neighbouring country.
Whenever problems occurred in the relationship between the two countries, Pakistan tried to mount pressures on Afghan refugees, diplomats, students and patients, the source added.
The Afghanistan foreign ministry said six months back employees of one of their consulates in Pakistan had been detained temporarily, but the issue was resolved after contacting Pakistani officials. Since then their staff had not faced any difficulty, it added.
But Akhtar Munir Khan, Pakistan embassy spokesman in Kabul, denied the allegations and said that his country never created any problems for Afghan diplomats.
He asked the Afghans to refer their problems to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad for solutions. Khan assured the ministry would address their complaints swiftly.
Not only diplomats, Afghan traders are also faced with several problems at the hands of the Pakistan government.
A day earlier, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) officials accused Islamabad of violating the Afghan-Pakistan Trade Agreement (APTA) and stopping 300 trucks at the Torkham border from entering Pakistan.
During a conference on Sunday, they said they hinted at plans to cancel APTA with Pakistan, which also suspended the scholarship distribution process for Afghan students some months ago.
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