11 women died in stampede outside Pakistan’s consulate

Jalalabad: At least 15 people including 11 women died in a stampede among thousands of Afghans gathered outside Pakistan’s consulate in eastern Jalalabad city.

Officials in the eastern city of Jalalabad said that a jostling broke out between people who were present outside Pakistan’s consulate to apply for visas.

Two provincial officials told Reuters a day after the tragedy that an estimated 3,000 Afghans were present on the open ground outside the consulate. They were waiting to collect tokens, a requirement to apply for a visa, officials said.

A provincial council member in eastern Jalalabad city Sohrab Qaderi said that 11 were women out of 15 dead, adding that several senior citizens were wounded.

An official in Jalalabad said the visa applicants jostled to get their token from consulate officials, adding that the crown of thousands became out of control which led to a stampede.

Every year tens of thousands of Afghans travel to Pakistan for medical treatment, education and jobs. Pakistan shares a 2,600-kilometre border Afghanistan and the former country has strategic interests in the region. 

Likewise, Pakistan also hosts about 3 million Afghan refugees and economic migrants. These refugees fled violence, religious persecution and poverty in their war-affected country. No statement from the Pakistan embassy in Kabul has so far issued.

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