A stampede in a stadium in Afghanistan has seen at least 11 women killed. It is believed that a number of other women and elderly people have also been injured, while applying for visas.
The incident happened after “thousands of people” had reportedly gathered to request entry visas into Pakistan. Due to the sheer numbers expected, the crowd had been redirected to a sports stadium, rather than the usual visa center in the city of Jalalabad.
The BBC reports that visa applications to Pakistan have just resumed after a seven-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. An official said, “The visa applicants jostled to secure their token from the consulate officials.” He added that the crowd became unruly, which led to the stampede.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, said he was deeply saddened by the incident, adding that Pakistan was “engaged with Afghan authorities for better facilitation of visa applicants”.
Afghanistan, being of a Muslim society, women were in a separate queue from the men.
Umm Muhammed Umar