Pakistan: Daughter of Afghan ambassador kidnapped, tortured

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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

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This content was published on July 18, 2021 - 17:07

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan has withdrawn its ambassador and diplomats from Pakistan’s capital following the kidnapping of the ambassador’s daughter, the Afghan foreign ministry said on Sunday.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)

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(CNN) President Joe Biden will name Jane Hartley as his ambassador to the United Kingdom after a lengthy search, a person familiar with the decision told CNN.

Hartley, the former US ambassador to France, has not been officially named as Biden’s choice for ambassador to the Court of St. James, but the decision has been made internally, the source said. Biden has spent months searching for a candidate to fill the prestigious role, a process that has been the subject of considerable discussion on both sides of the Atlantic.

At least two candidates turned it down, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for unstated reasons, according to a separate person.

Hartley was a major fundraiser for former President Barack Obama, and to a lesser extent for Biden. Her tenure in Paris coincided with a major terrorist attack in the French capital in 2015, during which she coordinated extensively with Washington to manage diplomatic assistance.

After the attack, Obama drew widespread criticism for not attending a peace march in Paris that drew other major world leaders, including of the United Kingdom and Germany. He sent Hartley instead, widely viewed as a poor substitute for himself or Biden. The White House later admitted it was a mistake.

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