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Afghan Ambassador’s Daughter Abducted, Tortured In Pakistan

The Afghan government has urged the Pakistani government to identify and prosecute the perpetrators at the soonest time possible.

Afghan Ambassador’s Daughter Abducted, Tortured In Pakistan

Afghan government has said its Ambassador Najibullah Alikhil’s 26-year-old daughter Silsila Alikhil was abducted and severely tortured in Pakistan on Friday.

According to a report, the Afghan foreign ministry has strongly condemned the “heinous act” and expressed its “deep concern over the safety and security of diplomats, their families, and staff members of the Afghan political and consular missions in Pakistan.”

The Afghan foreign ministry in a statement has said that Ambassador Alikhil’s daughter Silsila was abducted by unknown individuals on Friday while she was on her way home. She was severely tortured for hours. She has been released by the abductors and is currently under medical care, the ministry said.

 No one has been arrested in connection with the assault on Silsila Alikhil, who was abducted while riding a rented vehicle here on Friday

The Afghan foreign ministry called on the Pakistan government to ensure safety and security of its embassy, consulates and diplomats and their families in accordance with international treaties and conventions.

The Afghan government has also urged the Pakistani government to identify and prosecute the perpetrators at the soonest time possible.

According to the Pakistan police, Alikhil was abducted from the upscale Rana Market in Kohsar area of Islamabad. Later, she was found near F-9 Park area of the capital with torture marks on her body.

She was brought to Pakistan Institute of Medical Science where her medical examination was conducted.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said on Saturday that immediately after this “disturbing incident” was reported, the Islamabad Police launched a thorough investigation.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant security authorities are closely in contact with the Ambassador and his family and extending full support in the matter," the Foreign Office said.

It said the security of ambassador Najibullah Alikhil and his family had been beefed up, adding that law enforcement agencies were "trying to trace and apprehend the culprits to be brought to justice", the Dawn newspaper reported.

"The safety and security of the diplomatic missions, as well as the diplomats and their families, is of utmost importance. Such incidents can and will not be tolerated," it said.

The incident has happened amidst a war of words between Islamabad and Kabul over Pakistan's alleged tacit support to Taliban fighters who are confronting Afghan government forces as Western forces, including those from the US, are withdrawing from the war-torn country after two decades following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Shortly after the statement was issued, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed him to utilise all resources to apprehend those involved in the "kidnapping" of the Afghan ambassador's daughter, the report said.

He said that the premier had also told him that Islamabad Police and other law enforcement agencies must investigate the incident on "top priority" to bring forward the facts and apprehend the culprits within 48 hours.

"Accordingly, all efforts are being made to thoroughly investigate the matter and apprehend the persons involved in the incident. Islamabad Police is constantly in touch with the girl and family of the Afghan ambassador," he said.

Meanwhile, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said that the Afghan ambassador's daughter was a young woman who "should not face ANY obstacle in walking about in central Islamabad".

She termed the incident an attack on Pakistan and the values the country stood for.

"Hope the interior ministry immediately provides enhanced security to such soft targets. Pakistan is already facing instability from the fallout of escalating violence in Afghanistan which is why Afghan-led peace is important next door," she said.

Pakistan and Afghanistan often trade accusations, with Kabul claiming Islamabad is sending thousands of militants to fight in the war-torn country and providing safe haven for the Taliban.

Pakistan, in turn, claims that Afghanistan harbours the anti-Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan — the Pakistani Taliban — and also the secessionist Balochistan Liberation Army.

Afghanistan has seen an uptick in violence after US President Joe Biden’s announcement of the withdrawal of US and NATO troops.

(PTI inputs)