Pakistani diplomats and staffers of the country’s embassy in Kabul have been forced to restrict their movement following an alleged kidnapping bid and growing incidents of harassment, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Sources said some unidentified men tried to abduct an official of the Pakistani embassy in the Shehr-e-Nau area of Kabul on Tuesday, forcing him to postpone a meeting scheduled for the day and return to embassy premises.
“Embassy officials have spotted some people taking videos of the normal movement of Pakistani diplomats entering or exiting the embassy as well,” a source said. A senior Pakistani embassy official was also recently stopped at a police check post for two hours allegedly by agents of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s premier intelligence agency.
“The Pakistani embassy will not be able to continue to function in such a situation,” the source said.
He said some individuals, presumably part of Afghanistan’s security apparatus, routinely hurled abuses at Pakistani embassy officials while passing near their home or the embassy compound. The situation has forced some embassy staffers who live outside the embassy compound to remain inside their homes, he added.
According to sources, the harassment of Pakistani officials in Afghanistan started after President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah and the NDS accused Pakistan of involvement in recent attacks in Kabul and the rest of the country. Pakistan has condemned the attacks.
When Pakistan’s foreign ministry summoned Afghan ambassador Janan Mosazai on August 23, it asked him to urge his government to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani officials and nationals in Afghanistan. Pakistani embassy officials have also conveyed their concerns to the Afghan government and informed them about a possible threat to the embassy compound. But, even though Afghan officials recently visited the Pakistani embassy and assured the staff of security, there has been no let-up in the harassment incidents.
Due to heightened security concerns, the Pakistani embassy in Kabul postponed a test for Afghan students seeking Pakistani scholarships last week. The embassy expressed its inability to arrange security measures for the students who were supposed to appear for the compulsory English language test.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2015.