Afghanistan said on Sunday it was recalling its ambassador to Islamabad for “security threats” after the envoy’s daughter was briefly kidnapped in the Pakistani capital.
While few details were released on the incident, the Afghan foreign ministry said Silsila Alikhil was abducted for several hours on Friday by unknown persons and “severely tortured”.
“After the abduction of the daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recalled the Afghan envoy and other senior diplomats from Islamabad to Kabul until all threats security be lifted, ”the ministry said in a statement. Sunday, demanding the arrest and prosecution of the kidnappers.
Alikhil was returning home to the Pakistani capital when she was kidnapped, the ministry said on Saturday. He said she was under medical care at the hospital after she was released.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry later said she was assaulted in her car, adding that the security of the ambassador and his family was subsequently increased.
Islamabad – a spacious city with a population of around one million – has relatively strict security.
“The kidnapping of Afgh’s ambassador’s daughter and her subsequent torture hurt our nation’s psyche. Our national psyche has been tortured, ”Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Twitter.
An Afghan delegation will visit Pakistan to assess the situation, after which “further measures will be taken,” the Afghan foreign ministry added.
– “Unhappy and regrettable” –
Afghanistan’s decision to recall its ambassador “is unfortunate and regrettable,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The abduction of the ambassador’s daughter “is being investigated and followed up at the highest level”.
The Pakistani foreign minister met the Afghan ambassador “and assured him of his full cooperation. We hope that the Afghan government will reconsider its decision, ”the statement added.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been strained.
Kabul accuses Islamabad of offering refuge to Taliban militants leading a major campaign in the Afghan countryside, while Islamabad says Kabul turns a blind eye to militant groups launching attacks against Pakistan from its soil.
In Doha, Qatar, where the Afghan government and representatives of the Taliban are in talks aimed at reaching a political settlement of their conflict, Taliban spokesman Muhamad Naeem condemned the kidnapping.
“We strongly condemn and denounce it. And we call on the Pakistani government to accelerate its efforts to arrest and punish the perpetrators of this crime, ”Naeem tweeted.
As fighting raged in Afghanistan this week, the war of words escalated, with Saleh accusing the Pakistani military of providing “close air support to the Taliban in some areas.”
Pakistan strongly denied this claim, with a foreign ministry statement saying the country “has taken the necessary steps on its territory to protect our own troops and our people.”
Tension between the two countries increased further after the Taliban captured the Spin Boldak border post with Pakistan this week.
© 2021 AFP