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In protest over alleged meddling, Pakistan shuts consulate

In protest over alleged meddling, Pakistan shuts consulate

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Sep 01, 2018 - 11:23

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Pakistaninfo-icon has closed its consulate in eastern Nangarhar province, accusing the governor of meddling in the diplomatic mission’s affairs.

The Pakistan embassy in Kabul blamed Governor Hayatullah Hayat of interfering in the consulate matters. In a statement, the embassy said the meddling was against the law.

The embassy urged Afghanistaninfo-icon’s Foreign Ministry to prevent the governor from meddling in the consulate affairs.

Visa applicants have lately been complaining against the consulate, claiming the officials concerned forced them to pay bribes.

They say hundreds of people arrive at the Pakistani diplomatic mission daily to get visas. Only those who paid bribes were issued visas, they allege.

On Thursday, the governor visited the consulate General in the provincial capital as part of efforts to facilitate visa applicants.

Hayat had told media representatives he wanted improvement the visa issuance process because hundreds of complaints were received daily in this regard.

Referring to the Pakistan embassy claim, Hayat’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told Pajhwok Afghan News they had never intervened in the mission’s affairs.

The provincial administration only wanted to facilitate visa issuance and prevent corruption.

Consulate officials had promised handing over the visa issuance process to a private company, the governor earlier said, adding efforts were underway to privatise the issue process as soon as possible.

“The consulate officials have failed to help the provincial administration facilitate the visa issue process. Instead they have accused us of meddling. On this excuse, they have stopped issuing visas,” Khogyani concluded.

sa/mud

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