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Two Embassy Staffers Detained in Kabul, Pakistan Invokes Vienna Convention

Pakistan on Thursday pulled out the Vienna Convention when two of its staffers in Kabul were detained for hours by Afghanistan's intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS).

News18.com

Updated:May 18, 2017, 9:06 PM IST
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Two Embassy Staffers Detained in Kabul, Pakistan Invokes Vienna Convention
Image for representation only (Image: Reuters)

New Delhi: Pakistan on Thursday pulled out the Vienna Convention when two of its staffers in Kabul were detained for hours by Afghanistan's intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS).

The two men were picked up by NDS from a stationery shop at a market, Dawn reported.

The incident comes at a time when Pakistan has refused to adhere to the Vienna Convention in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case. Pakistan has maintained at the International Court Justice (ICJ) that the Convention didn't apply to "spies", referring to Jadhav.

The staffers detained in Kabul were identified as Hassan Khanzada, visa assistant at the embassy, and Syed Munir Shah, staff driver.

Pakistan accused Afghanistan of violating Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961).

“It was emphasised that such incidents undermined the constructive engagement which the two countries envisaged for strengthening of bilateral ties,” Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office as saying.

The embassy approached the Afghan foreign ministry and sought immediate release of the two staffers.

Pakistan summoned Afghanistan's deputy head of mission Zardasht Shams on Wednesday to lodge protest over the detention.

The Afghan foreign ministry, reportedly after a bit of dilly-dallying, conceded that the two had been taken into custody by the NDS, the report said.

Khanzada and Shah were finally released after three hours, it said, adding that it was unclear why the staffers were detained.

The incident serves another blow to the already fraught ties between the two countries.

It happened amid latest efforts by the US-led coalition in Afghanistan to mend fences between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

(With inputs from PTI)

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