Shukrullah Atif Mashal, Afghanistan Ambassador to Pakistan threatened to close down their Consulate in Peshawar accusing Pakistan of insulting his country. The Ambassador chastised Pakistan for removing the Afghan flag from a property which is located in Peshawar and is a matter of dispute between the two countries over its ownership. The building which is located at Firdous market in Peshawar has been a bone of contention for long with both Afghanistan and Pakistan claiming to be its legitimate owners. The matter is with the Supreme Court and a decision is yet to come over who owns the property. In the meantime, the latest action by the Pakistan government has left the Envoy furious.
While the legal battle is underway, an attempt to forcefully possess it has surfaced. The Afghan envoy claimed that the flag of Afghanistan on the building was removed "overnight" in a desperate attempt to claim that the building belonged to Pakistan. Annoyed with the act, the envoy threatened to shut down Consulate in Peshawar. He said:
“We have been insulted by the Pakistan government for removing the flag in overnight operation last night.”
Accusing Pakistan of deliberately ignoring the sensitivity of the matter, the Ambassador said he will highlight the issue at every forum and ensure that proper action is taken. Mashal reminded the Pakistan government that Afghanistan owned the property before partition hence there should not be any dispute over its ownership. A source close to the Consulate said more than 500 policemen turned up at the property which is in Afghan market near railway crossing and removed the flag from the building. “They tried to insult us”, he said adding that it was difficult to understand such hasty action over a “matter which was under judicial consideration”.
"Who sends police at night to take the flag down of another country? What was the reason that so many police came together and on whose orders? If your intentions are right then you would not do that at night but inform us", he said.
Another source on condition of anonymity said the police was working with “Kabza Mafia” or Land Grab Mafia who wanted to “threaten us” but these “tactics would not work” as our Ambassador has sent a firm reply to both the mafias and the government.