The Foreign Office announced on Sunday that Pakistan's consulate general in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad, which had been shut since August 30, will be functional from Monday.
Pakistan had cited ‘undue interference’ by the governor of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province in its working and other security concerns as the reasons for the consulate’s closure in August.
The Foreign Office said that the consulate is resuming resume its visa operations “after assurances by the Afghan government that all necessary and required security will be provided to the Consulate Generals.”
All visa applicants in Jalalabad and surrounding areas within the jurisdiction of the consulate general can apply for visa with effect from tomorrow [October 8], according to the FO.
Governor Hayat’s intervention
Calling the intervention of Governor Hayatullah Hayat a complete violation of the Vienna Convention of the Consular Relations 1963, the Kabul embassy had asked the Afghan authorities to honour the diplomatic privileges enjoyed by the consulate under international treaties.
Article 31 of the Vienna Convention pertaining to inviolability of the consular premises states: “The authorities of the receiving State shall not enter that part of the consular premises which is used exclusively for the purpose of the work of the consular post except with the consent of the head of the consular post or of his designee or of the head of the diplomatic mission of the sending State.
“The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the consular premises against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the consular post or impairment of its dignity.”
According to Afghan media, Governor Hayat had tried to coerce Pakistani staff to change the visa issuance system that he alleged was causing inconvenience to public.
This provoked the embassy, which had already been upset over the demolition of a security wall by the Afghan authorities, to suspend the operations.
According to VoA, Governor Hayat while defending his action said: “We were not happy with activities of the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad. According to our information, the consulate was charging 5,000 ($40) to 20,000 ($160) Pakistani rupees from Afghans for processing their visas.”