ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Tuesday accused India and Afghanistan of trying to distort facts related to the alleged abduction of the daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, saying it was not a kidnapping incident rather part of a series of attempts to defame and destabilize Pakistan.
Speaking at a presser here, he denied that the taxi drivers had picked up another man during the course of Silsila Alikhil’s rides, as no evidence of her abduction was found during the investigation.
He reiterated that no man sat in any taxi, and a thorough probe into the matter revealed that it was not an abduction case, adding Afghanistan and India are trying to twist the facts.
“The government will fight the case of the daughter of the Afghan ambassador, but our investigation shows that this was not a kidnapping case...the girl [Silsila] changed taxis four times, and no man sat in any of the taxis during her journey,” he added.
He said that the envoy’s daughter used the internet throughout her journey, adding that the men accused of the kidnapping were hard-working taxi drivers.
The minister said that conspiracies were also being hatched to cause misunderstandings between Pakistan and China, and create a law and order situation.
The minister also said that the law-enforcement agencies have completed their investigation into the Dasu dam incident in which at least nine Chinese workers were killed.
“There are attempts being made to create misunderstanding between Pakistan and China,” said the minister.
He added that the incident was carried out precisely for this reason.
There are certain international powers which, the minister said, don’t want Sino-Pak friendship to flourish hence they perpetrated actions such as the Dasu bus incident.
“Look at their timing...Johar Town blast was perpetrated just a day before the FATF [Financial Action Task Force] meeting. Then the Dasu dam incident took place right before the JCC [Joint Coordination Committee] meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the incident involving Afghan envoy’s daughter took place just days before the Afghan peace conference,” he added.
Terming these incidents part of hybrid warfare against Pakistan, the minister said that efforts are being made to give a false impression to the rest of the world that the security situation in Pakistan is not good.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has instructed the inspector-generals of all the four provinces and other security agencies to closely monitor the security situation in the country.
He added that despite the findings of the investigation and Silisila’s claim being starkly different, a first information report (FIR) of the case had been registered, and the state would fight the case on her behalf even though she has left the country.
“We’ve completed our investigation but since we respect her [Silisla’s stance], we’ve registered an FIR,” he said, adding he is optimistic that she would soon become a part of the investigation.
Replying to a question, the minister said the footage pertaining to the case had been sent to the Foreign Office, and now it was their responsibility to inform the Afghan diplomats about the situation, adding that the fourth taxi driver involved in the investigation had also been traced.
He maintained that none of the taxi drivers involved in the investigation had a criminal record that indicated their involvement in the abduction.
“This is all an effort to malign the image of Pakistan. As per the prime minister's directives, the probe of the case was completed within 48 hours, and the findings were sent to the Foreign Office and the PM House,” he maintained.
Replying to a question, he said the government planned to make the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad a special security zone after Eid holidays.
To another question about the situation in Afghanistan, he said it was the neighboring country's internal matter, and Pakistan would accept whatever the Afghans decide.
“The policy of the Pakistani government is clear. We’ll not interfere in matters of Afghanistan. We’ll not let anyone use our land against Afghanistan and expect the same in return,” he added.
He also said that Pakistani forces and civil institutions were prepared to deal with the fallout of growing violence in Afghanistan.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021