Afghanistan withdraws diplomats from Pakistan after kidnapping of Afghan envoy's daughter

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Kabul [Afghanistan], July 19 (ANI): Afghanistan on Monday withdrew its diplomats from Pakistan after Afghan envoy Najib Alikhil's daughter was kidnapped in Islamabad.

The information was shared by the Afghan Foreign Ministry, reported CNN.

Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Najib Alikhil, Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, was "abducted for several hours and severely tortured by unknown individuals on her way home" on Friday, according to a statement from the ministry.

She was later released and is now receiving medical care in the hospital, the statement said, adding that the investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry confirmed the incident in a statement on Saturday, saying that Silsila had been "assaulted while riding a rented vehicle" and that it was trying to apprehend suspects.

But in an about-turn on Sunday night, Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed denied the incident and expressed scepticism toward Silsila's account of what happened, reported CNN.

Earlier on Sunday, Afghanistan had announced it would withdraw Alikhil and all other senior diplomats based in Pakistan "until all threats are addressed," according to the Foreign Ministry statement.

The ministry also summoned Pakistan's ambassador to Kabul, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, to "convey the strong protest and deep concerns of the Government of Afghanistan to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Pakistan about this grave incident."

In the statement, Afghanistan called on the Pakistan government to "take immediate action" to identify and punish the perpetrators, and to protect the safety of Afghan diplomats "in accordance with international conventions."

The incident comes as Pakistan prepares to host an Afghan peace conference next week, amid concerns over the aftermath of the withdrawal of the United States military from Afghanistan.

The peace conference had originally been scheduled for this weekend, between Saturday and Monday, but was delayed until after Eid Al-Adha, said Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Friday. The new dates have not yet been announced. (ANI)

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