Harassment of Pak diplomats

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REGARDLESS of all the goodwill of Pakistan towards Afghanistan, it is unfortunate that the posture of the other side is quite the opposite and hostile. A few days back, the Afghan troops resorted to unprovoked firing on our troops and now there are incidents in which Pakistani diplomats have been harassed in Kabul. The diplomats were reportedly not only obstructed by Kabul officials on roads but were also abused and inappropriate remarks were hurled against them. This is in sheer violation of all diplomatic norms and traditions, and a clear violation of Vienna Convention. Foreign Office has rightly lodged a strong protest with the Afghan Charge d’Affairs in Islamabad reminding him about the responsibility of the Afghan Government to ensure safety, security and freedom of movement to all members of the Mission under the Vienna Convention. Given the posture of Afghan authorities, it has become important that Pakistan closes its Embassy and Consulates in Afghanistan and stop issuing visas to the Afghans. In fact it is not the first time that the Pakistani diplomats have been harassed in the neighbouring country. In the past also, there had been attacks on Pakistani Consulates but out of goodwill, our Mission starts issuing visas to the Afghans on the assurances of the Afghan authorities. However, this latest incident of harassment should not be taken lightly by our Foreign Office. The process of issuing visas should be stopped until and unless the Afghan authorities do not give guarantee for the security of our diplomatic staff. Instead of entangling with Pakistan, it is better for Afghan Government to focus its efforts towards restoring peace in their country. According to a latest US report, the civilian deaths in the country have more than tripled during this quarter compared with the same period last year. This speaks volume of the incapability of Afghan security forces to protect the life and property of their people. Afghan Government should stop playing in the hands of Pakistan’s enemy. Our authorities should also stop showing unnecessary goodwill and fraternity towards the Afghans. Efforts must be expedited to ensure the early return of the millions of Afghan refugees as they are a burden on our economy as well as a security risk.

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