Afghanistan recalls Pakistan envoy over ‘security threats’

Move comes after envoy's daughter was assaulted in Islamabad

KABUL: Afghanistan today (Sunday) said it was recalling its ambassador to Pakistan and all senior diplomats over “security threats” after the top envoy’s daughter was briefly kidnapped this week.

“Following the abduction of the daughter of Afghan ambassador in Pakistan, the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan have recalled the Afghan envoy and other senior diplomats from Islamabad back to Kabul until all the security threats are removed,” the foreign ministry said, demanding the arrest and prosecution of kidnappers.

It said an Afghan delegation will visit Pakistan soon to assess and follow up on the case and “all related issues”, adding that “subsequent actions will follow based on the findings”.

Ambassador Najibullah Alikhil’s daughter, Silsila Alikhil, was kidnapped on Friday from the federal capital’s commercial hub by unidentified persons, who also subjected her to torture. The Afghan foreign ministry, while confirming the incident, claimed that she was “abducted for several hours and severely tortured”.

She was returning home in the afternoon in a taxi after visiting a bakery in Islamabad’s Blue Area when the driver picked up another man, who verbally abused and assaulted her. She was later dropped in an unconscious condition by the taxi driver on a roadside.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken strict notice of the alleged incident and had directed the interior ministry to arrest culprits within 48 hours. He also directed Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed to take every possible step to arrest the culprits behind the incident.

Earlier in the day, Sheikh Rashid asserted that the government was investigating the abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter and will resolve the matter within 72 hours.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the interior minister said that the taxi drivers who drove the daughter of Afghan envoy before her brief abduction have been interrogated and a first information report (FIR) has been registered.

“We have registered a case on her request under sections 34 (common intent), 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the PPC (Pakistan Penal Code),” he informed.