At a time when the Taliban has made significant gains in Afghanistan with the help of Pakistan, the daughter of the Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan was abducted yesterday. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, the Afghan government informed that Silsila Alikhil, the daughter of Afghan ambassador in Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil, was abducted on 16th July in Islamabad, and she was released after several hours.
The Afghan statement said that Silsila Alikhil was tortured while in captivity. She was abducted by several unknown individuals on her way home on Friday.
The statement added, “The MoFA strongly condemns this heinous act and expresses its deep concern over the safety and security of diplomats, their families, and staff members of the Afghan political and consular missions in Pakistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Government of Pakistan to take immediate necessary actions to ensure full security of the Afghan Embassy and Consulates as well as the immunity of the country’s diplomats and their families in accordance with international treaties and conventions. While the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is following the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, we urge the Pakistani government to identify and prosecute the perpetrators at the soonest possible time.”
In the meantime, some media houses in Pakistan have released additional details about the significant incident. After her release, she was examined at a hospital, which confirmed that she was tortured while in captivity. The medical report says that Najibullah Alikhel’s daughter was abducted yesterday afternoon at around 1:45 PM and she was recovered at around 7 PM on the same day, five hours after she had gone missing.
Reportedly, she was abducted from Jinnah Super in Islamabad, and after the torture in some unknown location, she was released near Tehzeeb Bakery, Blue Area, Islamabad.
According to the medical examination report, Silsila Alikhil had pain and swelling at wrist joints and hands, there were mars of ropes on the wrist joints. She also had similar pain and rope marks on her legs and ankle joints. The woman also had swelling around her eyes, she was vomiting, and was bleeding from the ENT region.
The abduction of the top Afghan diplomate’s daughter in Pakistan marks another low in the rapidly deteriorating Pakistan-Afghanistan relationships. Following the Taliban’s capture of a crucial border crossing with Pakistan, Afghanistan’s vice president had said that Pakistan Air Force had warned Afghan forces not to retaliate against the Taliban. The PAF had said that if Afghan armed forces attempted to recover territories from the Taliban, they will have to face the Pakistan Air Force.
Yesterday, the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani PM Imran Khan had exchanged verbal barbs at the international conference on “Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity: Challenges and Opportunities” in Tashkent in Uzbekistan. Ghani had said that Pakistan is playing a negative role in the current situation in Afghanistan. He had slammed the Pakistani govt for not severing ties with terror groups, and had said that according to intelligence reports over 10,000 jihadi fighters had entered Afghanistan in the last month. He had also said that Imran Khan government had failed to convince the Taliban to negotiate seriously in the ongoing peace talks.
However, Imran Khan had refuted the allegations, saying that the last thing Pakistan wants is more conflict, as the country has suffered 70,000 casualties in the last 15 years. He added that Pakistan can no more convince the Taliban for talks, as they are no longer willing to compromise after the United States gave a date for the withdrawal of troops. He said that the Afghan govt should have asked the Taliban to come to talks when there were 150,000 NATO troops in the country. When the foreign troops are leaving, why Taliban will listen to Pakistan as they are sensing victory, Imran Khan had said.
Note: Earlier version of the report including an image of a woman wrongly identified as Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan’s daughter. The error is regretted.