By: Suraya Raiszada
Following Pakistani police raid on Afghan Market in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Peshawar city, Afghanistan government while calling the raid as irresponsible have stressed that Afghan Market is the property of Afghans.
Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement has accused Pakistan police for scorning the Afghan national flag as the step taken by Pakistan police is against principles and laws between the countries.
In protest of the Pakistani police raid on the Afghan Market, Afghanistan government has shut down its consulate in Peshawar.
“It is the second time Pakistan police unlike all diplomatic principles and without coordination with Afghanistan embassy to Islamabad have raided the market and removed Afghanistan national flag from the market,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Embassy in Islamabad has also condemned the overnight raid in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province’s capital, and accused the provincial government of making a “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 were “against diplomatic norms.”
Afghan officials say the Afghan Market is the property of Afghanistan’s national bank.
A number of Afghan traders having their business in Pakistan say no countries have the right to usurp property of another country.
“Unfortunately, it is not the first time Pakistan police have removed Afghanistan national flag from the Afghan Market’s building. They have repeatedly raided on the market, but Afghan traders and shopkeepers resisted,” said Haji Janat Gul, an Afghan trader in Peshawar.
He added that although Afghan refugees have lived in Pakistan for long years, they were repeatedly bothered and asked for bribe by Pakistani police, saying that currently Pakistan has wanted to usurp the property of Afghans.
In reaction to this step of the Pakistan government, Afghanistan Meshrano Jirga or Senate on Sunday described the removal of Afghanistan flag from the Afghan Market in Peshawar as “an insult to Afghans”, calling for the Pakistani ambassador to be summoned and the issue referred to international courts.
Few days back, Pakistani police raided the Afghan Market, a property of Afghanistan in Peshawar, and removed the flag of Afghanistan from it.
Senators in a general session stressed that based on documents, the Afghan Market was the property of Afghan National Bank and considered removing the country’s national flag from the market’s building as unacceptable.
Senate or Mishrano Jirga has asked Afghanistan government to defend Afghanistan flag and property outside the country as Afghan Market was a property of Afghanistan before the creation of Pakistan and the decision by the country’s court in favor of Pakistan was not acceptable to Afghans.
It is worth mentioning that Pakistan police have recently attacked and raided on Afghan Market in Peshawar and removed the Afghan national flag from the market’s building without coordination with Afghanistan embassy to Islamabad, which has raised serious reactions and protest of Afghanistan government.