Pakistan rejects Afghanistan's distorted, misleading statement over Peshawar market dispute
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Saturday rejected a statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Ministry regarding a market in Peshawar, calling it distorted and misleading.
"We reject insinuations contained in the statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Ministry regarding a market in Peshawar. It is deeply regrettable that a distorted and misleading account of the issue and related events has been presented," said a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The official response comes after Afghanistan closed its consulate in Peshawar for an indefinite period on Friday to protest the removal of its national flag from a disputed property known as Afghan Market.
The foreign office highlighted, "It is pointed out that the market issue was between a private citizen and a purported bank from Afghanistan. The case was decided in favour of the private citizen in 1998."
"The recent enforcement action by the local administration occurred after legal remedies were exhausted by the Afghan party to this legal dispute. We reject any comments casting aspersions on the judicial process in Pakistan," it further added.
"We further regret the announcement that the Consulate General of Afghanistan in Peshawar has been closed in protest at this point," the statement added.
Pakistan further hoped that the Afghan step would be immediately reviewed and that a private legal case would not be allowed to adversely affect the relations between the two brotherly countries.
Afghan Consul General Muhammad Hashim Niazi said at a press conference, “We condemn removal of our national flag from the market by police and close down the consulate in Peshawar for an indefinite period.”
“The consulate is closed for an indefinite period as a protest against unwarranted action by the police and the administration,” Dawn News quoted Niazi.
He called the removal of the flag from the ‘disputed’ property a violation of diplomatic norms. Following the response, the Afghan flag was hoisted atop the market again and its ambassador discussed the matter with the foreign office.
Consul General Hashim Niazi told reporters that despite warnings, police raided the market on Thursday night and removed the flag of his country.
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