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Visa issue needs Kabul-Islamabad level solution: Amarkhel

21 Oct 2020 - 14:59
21 Oct 2020 - 14:59

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Nangarhar governor Ziaul Haq Amarkhel on Wednesday said Tuesday’s stampede that left many dead and wounded would be investigated and that the Pakistan visa issuance was a country-level matter and needed to be addressed mutually.

At least 12 women were killed and 10 men and three women injured after a stampede occurred between thousands of people applying for Pakistan visa near the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, Nangarhar’s capital, on Tuesday.

Amarkhel expressed his grief over the incident which he said resulted from jostling among the thousands of people congregated on the football stadium.

He said the Pakistan consulate in Nangarhar daily issued visa to 1000 people, but the process had been stopped for eight months due to Covid-19 crisis. The process resumed about a week ago, he added.

The governor said 320 police and civilian officials had been tasked with organizing the people but due to huge number of applicants, the sad incident occurred.

He said the visa issue was on country level and so it had been shared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to be resolved on that level.

The governor said they held three meetings with the Pakistan consulate officials on solution to the problem but the issue needed to be addressed on Kabul-Islamabad level.

Amarkhel also said causes of the terrifying stampede would be seriously investigated.

Nangarhar zonal hospital spokesman Gulzada Sangar said most of the injured persons were in stable condition.

Norgul, a resident of Momand Dara district who was seriously injured in the stampede, told Pajhwok from his hospital bed: “The Consulate officials said there was a huge crowd and they will not issue tokens until there is discipline.”

“But we asked them to give people token on turn, and as they opened the window, a stampede broke out as each one tried to reach the window. Some elderly and weak people fell on the ground and others trampled on them.”

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