Foreign Office response follows Afghan Foreign Ministry alleging probe has not identified culprits or explained how incident took place
Pakistan on Wednesday issued a rebuttal to Afghanistan on the alleged abduction of the daughter of Kabul’s envoy in Islamabad, expressing the hope that the neighboring nation will provide information requested earlier to allow speedy resolution to the investigation.
“We have seen the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement and the complainant’s video. It is once again highlighted that the visiting delegation was given a comprehensive briefing on each aspect of the complaint,” read a statement issued by Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chuahdri in response to media queries on the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement about the incident.
Last week, an Afghan government delegation visited Pakistan to examine the evidence gathered by law enforcement officials regarding the alleged abduction of Silsila Alikhel on July 16. “During this visit, the Pakistani side shared some information and findings with the Afghan delegation on the case,” read a statement issued after the visit. However, it added, the data provided “did not address the basic issues such as how the incident took place and the identification of the perpetrators.”
The statement also alleged that Pakistan had not shared all information related to the case for technical investigations, and stressed that the hospital and medical reports “along with other available evidence” indicated Silsila had been abducted and tortured. “The Government of Afghanistan, in coordination with the victim, is ready and will continue to cooperate to identify and apprehend the perpetrators,” it said and called on the Pakistani government to “focus on expeditious identification, apprehension, and prosecution of the perpetrators of the abduction.”
In its response, Pakistan’s Foreign Office reiterated that the visiting delegation had been taken to all the areas that the complainant had visited on July 16, including F-7, G-7, Rawalpindi, Daman-e-Koh, F-6 and F-9 Park. “The delegation was informed that the technical data [geo-fencing] matched with the actual movement of complainant on the day contrary to statement of the complainant, which was further confirmed by the statements of the taxi drivers,” read Chaudhri’s statement, adding that the complaint did not corroborate the results of the probe.
“The delegation was further requested to facilitate access to the complainant and the official of the Embassy and phone data, as already requested on July 18,” he said, adding that it was “hoped” Kabul would provide the required information to ensure a speedy resolution of the investigation.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has continuously claimed that the incident was a “manufactured drama,” going so far as to accuse Afghanistan of supporting terrorism within Pakistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, adopting a more conciliatory tone, has merely noted that the results of the probe don’t fully match the complaint and more information was required.
The incident is another example of the increasing strain on ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghan officials repeatedly accuse Pakistan of aiding the Taliban in their ongoing assault on major population centers of Afghanistan, while Islamabad claims it has “no favorites” and is merely playing the role of “facilitator” for the Afghan peace process.