While Pakistan says evidence does not support abduction claims, Kabul blames Islamabad for failing to identify perpetrators
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Evidence does not support claims that the daughter of Afghanistan’s envoy in Pakistan was kidnapped in the capital city, Islamabad has said, a finding rejected by Kabul.
Officials from Pakistani law enforcement agencies and the Foreign Ministry briefed an Afghan delegation, which was in Islamabad for a day-long visit on Sunday, on the investigation into last month’s alleged abduction.
“The delegation was conveyed that law enforcement agencies had carried out detailed and thorough investigation in the complaint and a comprehensive witness account led to the conclusion that the findings on the ground did not corroborate the report by the complainant,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.
This, it said, was further “substantiated by the technical evidence.”
The Afghan Foreign Ministry had claimed that Silsila Alikhail, the daughter of Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Najib Alikhail, was abducted and tortured by unidentified perpetrators on July 16 while on her way home.
The next day, Kabul recalled its ambassador from Pakistan, a decision Pakistan called “unfortunate and regrettable.”
Pakistan’s interior minister has also dismissed Afghanistan’s claims, saying the complainant was neither abducted nor tortured.
The delegation, the statement added, was given a “comprehensive briefing” on all aspects of investigation into the reported incident.
They were shown video footage from various locations of different times in which the ambassador’s daughter was clearly identifiable moving around places independently, it said.
“An on-site visit of all the locations visited by the complainant was arranged for the delegation, followed by presentation of technical data (findings of mobile forensic/geo fencing) as well,” the press release said.
It added that Pakistan attaches high importance to its relations with Afghanistan, and at a critical juncture in the Afghan peace process, “it is extremely important to work jointly for the shared objective of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan.”
Pakistan said it hoped the Embassy of Afghanistan in Islamabad would soon resume its normal operations.
Failed to identify perpetrators
Meanwhile, the Afghan government on Tuesday said Pakistan has failed to identify perpetrators behind the “abduction.”
Its Foreign Ministry acknowledged that their delegation was shared information and findings on the case.
But, it added: “As agreed between the two sides in Islamabad on the first day, the Afghan delegation demanded that the Pakistani officials should share all information related to the case with Afghanistan for further technical investigations. Unfortunately, the information was not shared with the delegation.”
It called on the Pakistani government to focus on “expeditious identification, apprehension, and prosecution of the perpetrators …”
Relations between the two neighbors remain tense with both blaming each other for arming and supporting militants who carryout cross-border attacks.
Violence has escalated across Afghanistan now that foreign forces have almost withdrawn following 20 years of involvement.
The Taliban have rapidly captured several districts, and are now targeting towns and cities.