Islamabad rejects Kabul’s ‘insinuations’ about Peshawar market closure

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Shafaqna Pakistan:Islamabad rejected on Saturday Kabul’s claims about an Afghan market in Peshawar, regretting that a “distorted and misleading” account of the issue was presented.

On October 1o, the possession of a long-disputed market was handed over to a citizen on court orders.

Authorities removed the Afghan flag and proprietorship board from the market.
On Friday, the Afghan foreign ministry reacted to the incident, and termed the decision as “irresponsible” and “insulting.”

“Many soldiers came here, acting like terrorists. This is not acceptable. This is not good for improving relations between the two countries,” Shukrullah Atif Mashal, the Afghan ambassador claimed.

The Afghan consulate in Peshawar was also closed in protest.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office clarified that the issue was between a private citizen and a purported bank from Afghanistan.

“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,” the communique read.

Islamabad regretted that the Afghan consulate in Peshawar was closed in protest.

The government hoped that the 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.”

What happened

Shaukat Kashmiri had filed a case in the Peshawar High Court claiming ownership of the Afghan Market which was established on a plot adjacent to the Afghan Consulate in the city.

The court had ordered Peshawar deputy commissioner to ensure implementation on the verdict given in Kashmiri’s favour and to hand over possession of shops in the related market to the applicant.

In connection with a court order, the operation was conducted under the supervision of high officials of district administration while the police were also present on the site to maintain law and order.

To avoid any mishap the road was closed for traffic while a hotel was demolished during the operation.

An official of the Afghan consulate reached the site and claimed the market was the property of the Afghan government and pleaded not to seal it. However, the operation continued as per the law.