Pak says can't rule out role of foreign intel agencies in disappearance of ex-army officer

Islamabad [Pakistan], Apr 13 (ANI): The Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said Thursday that the role of foreign intelligence agencies cannot be ruled out in the disappearance of retired Lt Col Habib Zahir, a former Pakistan Army officer, who went missing in Nepal earlier this month.

Addressing a weekly press briefing in Islamabad, spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Lt. Col. Zahir had been trapped in Nepal "after being lured into a job offer", reports the Dawn.

He said Pakistani authorities are in touch with the Nepali government to trace the missing ex-army man and Nepal is cooperating in this regard.

Zakaria, however, warned against linking Zahir's disappearance with the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the alleged Indian spy sentenced to death by a Pakistani tribunal earlier this week on charges of espionage and sabotage.

"It is unreasonable on India's part to link the Jadhav case with Habib Zahir," he said, reminding that Zahir had retired from the army a long time before Jadhav's arrest.

Lt.Col. Zahir, who retired from the army in 2014, went missing on April 6 from Lumbini, a Buddhist pilgrimage site close to the Indian border, where he arrived after somebody by the name of Mark Thompson had contacted him via email and telephone for a job interview in Nepal. (ANI)