Pakistan closes consulate in Jalalabad over ‘interference’

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan has temporarily closed its consulate in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad over alleged interference by the provincial governor and a lack of security, its embassy in Kabul announced.

In a letter sent to the Afghan foreign ministry, Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul complained that the provincial governor of Nangarhar was “intervening” in the affairs of the consulate.

“The Embassy has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan to kindly refrain the Governor from interfering in the functioning of the Consulate General,” said a statement released by the Pakistan embassy on Friday.

Pakistan also reiterated an oft-repeated request for greater security to be provided to the consulate.

According to the letter, the consulate will remain closed until adequate security arrangements were made.

In November, a Pakistani diplomat was shot dead outside his residence in Jalalabad. Last June, two Pakistani diplomats were kidnapped in Nangarhar while heading to Pakistan by road.

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