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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Saturday confirmed that daughter of Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad was assaulted, while riding a rented vehicle and the ministry and relevant security authorities are closely in contact with the envoy and his family and extending full support in the matter to apprehend the culprits.

Responding to media queries regarding the manhandling of Silsila Alikhil, daughter of the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Najibullah Alikhil, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that as reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Embassy of Afghanistan in Islamabad, on Friday, the daughter of the ambassador was assaulted, while riding a rented vehicle. Immediately after the "disturbing incident" was reported, he added that the Islamabad Police launched a thorough investigation. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant security authorities are closely in contact with the ambassador and his family and extending full support in the matter," he said.

While the security of the ambassador and his family has been beefed up, he added the law enforcement agencies are trying to trace and apprehend the culprits to be brought to justice.

"It is reiterated that the safety and security of the diplomatic missions, as well as the diplomats and their families, is of utmost importance. Such incidents can and will not be tolerated," the spokesperson added.

In a series of tweets, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said, "Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed to utilise all resources to apprehend the persons involved in the kidnapping of the daughter of Afghan Ambassador in Islamabad."

"Prime Minister has further directed the Interior Minister that Islamabad Police and other law enforcement agencies must investigate the incident on TOP PRIORITY, bring up the truth of the matter and apprehend the culprits within 48 hours," he tweeted.

Sheikh Rasheed added, "Accordingly, all efforts are being made to thoroughly investigate the matter and apprehend the persons involved in the incident. Islamabad Police is constantly in touch with the girl and family of the Afghan Ambassador."

Meanwhile, Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in statement, Pakistan Ambassador to Kabul Mansoor Ahmad Khan was summoned to the Ministry and "lodged a strong protest over the abduction of the daughter of Afghanistan's Ambassador to Islamabad."

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Mr Khan to convey the strong protest and deep concerns of the Government of Afghanistan to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Pakistan about this grave incident. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explicitly called on the Pakistani government to take immediate action to identify and punish the perpetrators of this crime and ensure the full security and immunity of Afghan diplomats and their families in accordance with international conventions," the statement added.

"Ms Silsila Alikhil was abducted for several hours in Islamabad on Friday and was released after being tortured," the statement added.

Earlier in the day, the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a statement that on July 16, 2021, the daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Islamabad Silsila Alikhil, was "abducted for several hours and severely tortured by unknown individuals on her way home".

"After being released from the kidnappers' captivity, Alikhil is under medical care at the hospital. 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 Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs further stated.

"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," it added.

It stated: "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."

Reportedly, Alikhil, 27, went to Blue Area in a shop near Tehzeeb Bakers on a taxi from a house near Rana Market, F-7/2, Islamabad. After taking a gift for her younger brother, when she took a cab for going back home, another man entered into the taxi after few minutes. It was further reported that when she protested to the driver for getting another man in the car, that passenger started beating her and said that "your father is a communist and we will not leave him."

Reports further claimed that when she regained consciousness at around 5 to 6pm and on enquiry a passerby told her that it is F-7 with no shopping or residential area nearby.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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