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ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani citizen Dr Abuzar Muhammad Afzal, who was kidnapped in Nigeria on March 28 along with scores of other people in Nigeria, was safely recovered on Sunday after being held in captivity for over three months.

The government of Pakistan conveyed deep appreciation to the government and people of Nigeria for helping to secure safe release of Pakistani citizen.

Dr. Abuzar was among scores of passengers taken hostage in an attack on Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28, 2022. He is the only foreigner among seven hostages freed last night, and 13 others released a month ago.

In a video message from Kaduna City this morning following his release, Dr. Abuzar thanked the governments of Pakistan and Nigeria, the negotiator and his employer, and everyone who contributed to the efforts for his freedom.

He also thanked the prime minister of Pakistan, the foreign minister, and the minister of state for foreign affairs for consistent endeavours to ensure his well-being and safe release.

We appreciate the political and military leadership of Nigeria, as well as the coordination between the two foreign ministries and the high commissions culminating in the release of Dr. Abuzar.

Dr. Abuzar has already reached Abuja and provided with emergency travel document by the Pakistan high commission to facilitate his journey to Pakistan on Sunday night, to reunite him with his family and loved ones in Multan coinciding with the happy occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. In a tweet, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he was “highly relieved by the safe release of Pakistani national Abuzar M. Afzal, kidnapped in Nigeria since March.”

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