Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul expressed its deep grief and sadness over the loss of life during a stampede that occurred on Tuesday, killing at least 15 Afghan nationals and injuring several others
As per a press release issued by the embassy on Wednesday, the stampede occurred in an open ground - five kilometres away from the Pakistan consulate in Jalalabad - "where applicants for Pakistani visa were being gathered and organised by the Afghan authorities".
“We sympathise with the families of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured in this unfortunate incident,” the statement read.
However, the communiqué further stressed that, in view of the of brotherly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the embassy in Kabul and 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,” the press release stated.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also took to Twitter to express deep grief over the tragic incident.
“Deeply saddened by the tragic deaths & casualties in a stampede in Jalalabad of Afghans wanting to get Pakistani visas. My condolences go to the victims’ families & prayers for early recovery of the injured,” he wrote on the popular micro-blogging website.
Deeply saddened by the tragic deaths & casualties in a stampede in Jalalabad of Afghans wanting to get Pakistani visas. My condolences go to the victims families & prayers for early recovery of the injured.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) October 21, 2020
The embassy further stated that it remains committed to ensuring smooth and effective management of visa applicants at their end.
“We seek the understanding and cooperation of Afghan people and authorities for better and secure management of the Afghan visa applicants,” the press release concluded.
It was earlier reported that Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in eastern Jalalabad city, confirmed that 11 women were among those who died in the incipient, whereas several senior citizens were injured.
Two other provincial officials said over 3,000 Afghans had congregated to collect tokens needed to apply for a visa to travel to Pakistan.