Rashid sees ‘int’l conspiracy’ as Afghanistan recalls envoy

Interior minister says Afghan envoy’s daughter went to Rawalpindi on her own will, blames RAW for hatching conspiracy

News Desk July 18, 2021
Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil. PHOTO: Twitter/@NajibAlikhil

A day after the alleged abduction of Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil's daughter, Afghanistan on Sunday recalled its ambassador over what is called "security threats", the Afghan foreign ministry said.

“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,” Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The ambassador’s daughter Selsela Alikhil was “abducted and manhandled” by unidentified assailants in Islamabad.

Islamabad, while reacting to the development, called Kabul’s decision “unfortunate and regrettable”.

​In a statement issued on Sunday night, the foreign office said the incident was being investigated and followed-up at the highest level on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The security of the ambassador, his family and personnel of the embassy and consulates of Afghanistan in Pakistan has been further beefed up,” it added.

Pakistan’s foreign secretary met the Afghan envoy earlier in the day, and highlighted all the steps taken by the government in this context, and re-assured him of full cooperation, the statement further read. “We hope that the Government of Afghanistan would reconsider its decision.”

A thorough investigation was launched by Islamabad police as soon as the incident surfaced on Friday.

Read more: Afghan envoy 'forced' to share picture of daughter

However, the Afghan foreign ministry, while confirming the incident, had claimed that she was "abducted for several hours and severely tortured".

Prime Minister Imran had directed Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed to utilise all resources to apprehend the people involved in kidnapping the Afghan envoy’s daughter.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, during an interview with a private TV channel, said that the ambassador's daughter was not abducted.

"She went to Rawalpindi on her own will... we have CCTV footage. This is a conspiracy planned by [Indian spy agency] RAW," he added.

Earlier during a press conference in Islamabad, Rashid had said that India had been misguiding the international media on the incident, as it doesn't spare any chance of launching propaganda against Pakistan.

Read PM orders arrest of abductors of Afghan envoy’s daughter within 48 hours

Rashid said that the government was investigating the abduction of the ambassador's daughter and will resolve the matter in a day or two.

Detailing the abduction of the envoy's daughter, Rashid said, "She walked to the market and took a taxi for Khadda market from where she took another taxi to Rawalpindi," he said.

"She was then reported to have reached Daman-e-Koh. The only footage we don't have is of her travel from Rawalpindi to Daman-e-Koh and we are trying to find the missing link."

Rashid added that the footages are of the Safe City Cameras, adding that these are being investigated.

"We are probing the incident and have registered a case under Sections 365, 354, 506 and 34 of the PPC," said the minister.

"We are also in touch with the Afghan embassy and they have been cooperative in this regard," he added.

Rashid further said that the drivers of the taxis she used have also been interviewed.

"[The] credit goes to police, probing agencies as well as foreign office for moving swiftly on the matter."

He added that the statement of the envoy's daughter was shared with us today early in the morning, adding that it has also been made public.

'An act against Islam'

Terming the “abduction” of the Afghan envoy’s daughter “an act against Islam, Taliban spokesman Muhamad Naeem also urged the government to “step up efforts to arrest the perpetrators”.

“The abduction of an Afghan girl in Pakistan is an act against Islam and humanity and we strongly condemn it,” Naeem wrote on the microblogging site Twitter.

(With additional input from AFP and Reuters)


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