Monday September 20, 2021

Afghan envoy daughter’s ‘abduction’: Probe almost final, to be made public: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Monday announced that investigations into the alleged abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter were almost complete and a final report will be made public once all details were shared with Silsila Alikhil and her father incorporating their points of view.

“The investigation is not conclusive but we are almost there. We are near the final investigation but we need their cooperation. We need cooperation from the Afghan ambassador and his daughter so we can share our findings with them. We have invited them to the Foreign Office in this regard,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in a joint press conference with the National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf and IG Police Islamabad Qazi Jamilur Rehman.

Qureshi said earlier in his conversation with his Afghan counterpart, Mohamad Hanif Atmar, he had requested him to review Kabul’s decision to recall their ambassador, as his and his daughter’s presence was needed to conclude investigation in the ongoing case.

During a telephonic conversation, the Afghan foreign minister thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for his personal interest in the investigation. “This is a sensitive issue and we want the reality to surface. We plan to keep nothing secret. We have also agreed to meet the Afghan team that wants to join us in these investigations. We have nothing to hide”, he added.

The Afghan Foreign Office, in a statement, said Foreign Minister Atmar objected to the remarks made by Pakistan’s Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmad, which were of deep concern as they were also ‘unprofessional’.

“These premature judgments are severely damaging bilateral relations.” Pakistan, he said, had shared a note with Afghanistan for cooperation in further investigations into the case, also pointing out that an FIR in the case was lodged according to the wishes of the Afghan ambassador.

“I have asked the Afghan foreign minister that if we have to take investigations to their final conclusion, we will need the presence of their ambassador. An ambassador’s job is to take relations forward and his absence will not help anyone,” said Qureshi.

Pakistan has also asked Afghanistan to give added security to its mission in Kabul and take all precautions, as there have been demonstrations in front of the embassy. The foreign minister pointed out that some forces were against Pakistan, as it moved forward to facilitate peace in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan had told the Afghan president that more care should be given to statements made publicly.

“We can also say a lot of things but Pakistan acts in a restrained manner as it wants peace in Afghanistan and in the region”, he added. The IG Islamabad reiterated that cooperation of the Afghan ambassador and his daughter was needed to wrap up the case. Giving details, the IGP said according to the investigation, Ms Silsila used four taxis after she walked out of her home and later returned.

“We have tracked the entire route that she traveled. We have five dedicated teams which traced her entire route from Islamabad to Rawalpindi while watching 800 hours of recordings and interviewed 220 people,” he said.

According to Qazi Jamilur Rehman, all four drivers had been interviewed and their statements coincided with the recordings that they had. She walked to Rana Market from where she took a taxi for Khadda Market. From there, she traveled on the Expressway to Rawalpindi and in a third taxi to Daman-e-Koh. A fourth taxi took her to F9 where after a phone call, she was taken by Afghan officials to her home.

Meanwhile, NSA Moeed Yusuf told the press that hybrid warfare was targeting Pakistan as the EU DisinfoLab had exposed. He shared slides on false hashtags that had been trending against Pakistan.

“EU Disinfo Lab had exposed India’s tactics against Pakistan,” the NSA said, adding that trends were running against the country from Afghanistan and India. The NSA noted that a fake photo of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter had been shared on Twitter from verified Indian accounts. “We are monitoring these trends [...] but whenever we report them, new trends emerge.”