2020-10-21 › Jalalabad: 12 Women Killed in Stampede for Pakistani Visas
At least 12 women were trampled to death--and 9 women and 3 men were injured-- during a stampede occurring among those seeking Pakistani visas in Jalalabad city, capital of Nangarhar province on Wednesday, local officials said.
A huge crowd had gathered in Jalalabad city close to the Pakistan Embassy when the incident occurred, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
Each day, hundreds of people gather for Pakistani visas outside the Pakistan Consulate, with some even spending the whole night waiting in line
Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, in a tweet after the incident said: “Deeply saddened at the reports of casualties at a stadium in Jalalabad 5km from Pakistani Consulate where visa applicants were being organized by Afghan provincial authorities. We sympathize with the families of victims.”
“We are engaged with Afghan authorities for better facilitation of visa applicants. We are committed to continue visa issuance to Afghan nationals under new visa policy while making the process smoother and streamlined at our end,” he said.
On October 13, Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul at a press release said that it had taken urgent measures to facilitate Pakistani visas for Afghan nationals.
“The Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul has taken urgent measures to facilitate Pakistani visas for Afghan nationals. Pakistan’s Consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-sharif have also started issuing visas to Afghan nationals in their respective jurisdictions,” the Pakistani embassy in Kabul said.
“Under the new visa policy, long term multiple visas are being issued to the Afghan nationals for visiting Pakistan for medical treatment, family matters, business, education and other purposes,” the embassy said.
“As the visa facility has opened recently after many months of restrictions due to COVID-19, there is a significant backlog causing large crowds of visa applicants at Embassy’s and Consulates’ windows. The Embassy seeks the understanding and cooperation of the applicants as well as the Afghan security authorities for ensuring effective management of the submission and collection of visa applications with a view to hopefully clear the backlog in the coming days,” the embassy said.