ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan on Sunday summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry over the ‘arrest and harassment’ of four Afghan diplomats in Peshawar by the Pakistani police on Thursday.
“Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kabul Sayed Abrar Hussain was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan in connection with the arrest and harassment of four of the Afghan Consulate General diplomats in Peshawar by the Pakistani police,” the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.
The protest came amid efforts by Pakistan to encourage the Afghan Taliban to join the intra-Afghan peace talks.
Terming the arrest of Afghan diplomats in Peshawar a ‘blatant violation of the principle of diplomatic relations’, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai lodged strong protest with Pakistani envoy, said a statement issued by the Afghan foreign ministry.
Peshawar Police confirmed that four diplomats were among scores of Afghan nationals, who were detained by the police at the University Town Peshawar and its surrounding areas on Thursday.
However, according to Afghan sources in Pakistan the police had freed the Afghan consulate officials within an hour their arrest.
“Karzai asked the Pakistani ambassador to convey the strong protest and concerns of Afghanistan with his country and urge pakistani authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident,” the Afghan foreign ministry said.
The Afghan deputy foreign minister added that the cooperation and relations between the two countries has entered a new phase and it should not be strained by such acts.
Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai had also rushed to the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad and raised the issue with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, sources told The Express Tribune.
Moreover, expressing concerns over “harassment of the Afghan refugees by the police in the Pakistan,” Karzai said that there is an urgent need to halt the process of forced expulsion until the Afghan high-ranking delegation visits Pakistan to consult regarding the return of Afghan refugees.
The Pakistani envoy reassured the Afghan authorities that he would “take up the issue to his country’s authorities to take necessary measures,” the statement further added.