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Afghan Consulate In Peshawar Closed Over Market Ownership Dispute


FILE: Shukrullah Atif Mashal, the current Afghan ambassador in Pakistan.

Afghanistan says it has shut down its consulate in Peshawar in protest at a police raid at the northwestern Pakistani city’s Afghan Market.

The Afghan Embassy in Islamabad on October 11 condemned the overnight raid in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province’s capital and accused the provincial government of making “unilateral decision” regarding the long-standing dispute over the market’s ownership.

“Afghanistan’s flag was removed from the building,” the embassy said in a statement, adding that such actions are “against diplomatic norms.”

Kabul says the Afghan Market is a property of Afghanistan’s national bank.

However, the country's apex court this week ruled that a Pakistani citizen, Shaukat Kashmiri, was the owner, and ordered the city authorities to vacate the building and hand it over to Kashmiri.

Afghanistan’s consul-general in Peshawar, Muhammad Hashim Niazi, told RFE/RL that the Afghan side has appealed the court decision.

Editor's note: We first posted this story with an old photo from October 2001. However, we have since replaced it with a more recent photo of the current Afghan envoy to Pakistan. We regret the oversight.