Islamabad [Pakistan], July 19 (ANI): While Islamabad is being slammed over the kidnapping and assault of the Afghan envoy's daughter, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed tried to evade the responsibility by terming the horrific incident an "international conspiracy".
Despite the Afghan government's sharp response against the kidnapping, the Pakistani minister went on to claim that the daughter of the Afghan envoy "wasn't kidnapped at all".
Speaking on Geo News programme Naya Pakistan on Sunday, Ahmed said the investigation carried out so far had not shown that the woman was abducted.
"There has been no kidnapping," he said. "I want to tell the entire nation, this is an international racket, an international conspiracy," he added.
These remarks come amid growing pressure over the Imran Khan-led government to take action and bring perpetrators in the incident to justice. The controversial statement is expected to further downgrade the already strained Islamabad-Kabul ties.
Afghanistan on Sunday announced that it was recalling its ambassador to Islamabad and other senior diplomats over "security threats" after the abduction of the top envoy's daughter.
Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghan envoy Najibullah Alikhil, was abducted in Pakistan for several hours on Friday and was severely tortured by unknown individuals on her way home. Silsila Alikhil is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital.
The Afghan government, members of civil society and activists condemned the incident and called on Islamabad to bring perpetrators to justice.
The Afghan foreign office called upon Islamabad to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of the "heinous act" at the earliest.
Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned Pakistan's envoy in Kabul, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, over the matter.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government has pledged to take actions against culprits.
PM Imran Khan had directed Rasheed to ensure that the culprits behind the incident involving the ambassador's daughter are arrested within 48 hours.
Earlier on Sunday, Rashid said that the taxi drivers, who drove the daughter of the Afghan ambassador before her brief abduction, have been interrogated and a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered. (ANI)