A stampede in a crowded stadium in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday left at least 12 people,almost all women dead. Several others were also injured when the crowd got out of control.Thousands of people were hoping to get visas to enter Pakistan for medical treatment. Since the spring, Pakistan had drastically reduced the number of visas that it issued to Afghans, hoping to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. After they announced it would resume issuing visas at a more normal rate, by Pakistani Consulate in Jalalabad, thousands of people gathered before dawn at the soccer stadium, in the city. About 10,000 people were in the stadium when the stampede occurred. Only 1,000 visas were to be processed a day.
Mohammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s special envoy for Afghanistan, had recently announced a new visa regime that would ease the process for issuing long-term, multiple-entry visas for Afghans. After the stampede on the stadium occurred police arrived and the situation got worse. The head of the special forces unit, a provincial deputy police chief, was among the dead.