Afghanistan withdraws ambassador, diplomats from Islamabad
KABUL, July 18 (Reuters) - Afghanistan has withdrawn its ambassador and diplomats from Pakistan’s capital following the kidnapping of the ambassador’s daughter, the Afghan foreign ministry said on Sunday, a new blow to relations at a sensitive time for the Afghan peace process.
The daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan was seized on Friday and held for several hours by unknown assailants who left her with injuries and rope marks and Pakistan authorities have said they are investigating. read more
“The Afghan government recalled the ambassador and senior diplomats to Kabul until the complete elimination of the security threats, including the arrest and punishment of the perpetrators,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry in a statement called the decision “regrettable” and said it hoped the Afghan government would reconsider.
“The Foreign Secretary met the Ambassador of Afghanistan today, highlighted all the steps taken by the Government in this context, and re-assured him of full cooperation,” it said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned the matter top priority and said he wants the culprits caught within 48 hours, the Interior Minister said on Saturday.
Pakistan is considered a key player in the peace process in Afghanistan, where Taliban insurgents have taken over territory in the weeks since U.S. President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops by Sept 11.
The neighbouring countries have long had frosty ties. Kabul accuses Pakistan of allowing safe havens for the Taliban, while Islamabad accuses Kabul of allowing militants to use their territory to carry out attacks in Pakistan.
Pakistan has been acknowledged for helping bring the Taliban to the negotiating table for peace talks that began in Qatar last year, but negotiations have failed to make substantive progress and the Taliban has ramped up offensives.
Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Abdul Qadir Sediqi; editing by Philippa Fletcher
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Pakistan: Daughter of Afghan ambassador kidnapped, tortured
The Afghan Foreign Ministry said the ambassador’s daughter, Silsila Alikhil, was kidnapped on Friday evening while in her rented vehicle in Islamabad. She was tortured for several hours, and eventually released.
The Islamabad police has launched an investigation but no suspects have been arrested so far.
The Afghan ministry said it was in contact with the ambassador and his family and was extending full support in the matter.
According to a hospital medical report, Silsila suffered blows to her head, had rope marks on her wrists and legs and was badly beaten.
There is also suspicion that she had several broken bones, according to Afghan officials.
Security forces to use ‘all resources’ in hunt for suspects
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the interior ministry to “utilize all resources to apprehend the persons involved” in the kidnapping.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the police and other law enforcement agencies have been asked to apprehend the culprits within 48 hours.
The Pakistan government said security at the residence of the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad has been reinforced.
While the Afghan foreign ministry condemned the “heinous act” and expressed concern for Afghan diplomats and their families in Pakistan.
The incident comes amid tensions between the two neighboring countries with Afghanistan claiming Pakistan is sending thousands of jihadi militants over the border and providing safe haven for the Taliban.
Pakistan in turn accuses Kabul of harboring anti-Pakistani groups.
A leading female senator in Pakistan, Sherry Rahman, condemned Friday’s attack. She tweeted that “the Afghanistan Ambassador’s daughter is a young woman, and should not face ANY obstacle in walking about in central Islamabad”.
on/dj (AP, dpa)
Afghanistan withdraws ambassador, diplomats from Islamabad – foreign ministry statement
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan has withdrawn its ambassador and diplomats from Pakistan’s capital following the kidnapping of the ambassador’s daughter, the Afghan foreign ministry said on Sunday.
“The Afghan government recalled the ambassador and senior diplomats to Kabul until complete elimination of the security threats including the arrest and punishment of the perpetrators,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
A Pakistani foreign office spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan was briefly kidnapped by unknown assailants who left her with injuries and rope marks and Pakistan authorities have said they are investigating.
(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Abdul Qadir Sediqi; editing by Philippa Fletcher)