Afghanistan Recalls Ambassador from Pakistan over Alleged Abduction of Daughter

Pakistan's Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid speaks during a press conference on the brief abduction of the daughter of Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, in Islamabad on July 18, 2021. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP) (Photo by FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)
FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images

Afghanistan on Sunday recalled its ambassador from Pakistan over the alleged abduction of the envoy’s daughter by unknown assailants in Islamabad on July 16, Afghanistan’s Khama Press reported Monday.

“Following the abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter in Pakistan, the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan called back Afghanistan’s ambassador and senior diplomats from Pakistan until all security threats are addressed including the arrest and trial of the perpetrators of abduction,” the Afghan foreign ministry said in a statement issued July 18.

“An Afghan delegation will visit Pakistan soon to assess and follow up on the case and all related issues; subsequent actions will follow based on the findings,” the statement further read.

Silsila Alikhil, the 26-year-old daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan, Najibullah Alikhil, was allegedly “abducted for several hours and severely tortured by unknown individuals on her way home” on July 16, according to a press release issued by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 17.

“After being released from the kidnappers’ captivity, Ms. Alikhil is under medical care at the hospital,” the statement read.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan subsequently directed Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed to “utilise all resources to apprehend those involved in the kidnapping of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter.”

Interior Minister Ahmed told Pakistan’s Geo News on July 19 the incident involving Silsila Alikhil “was not an abduction.”

“This is an international conspiracy. An agenda of RAW,” Ahmed alleged in an interview with the Geo News television program Naya Pakistan. He referred to India’s foreign intelligence agency, known as India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Ahmed alleged that Pakistan security officials had noted inconsistencies in Silsila Alikhil’s statements to Islamabad police over the weekend concerning her alleged abduction, which reportedly occurred while she traveled home in a rented taxi from a shopping center in the capital.

Pakistan’s interior minister told Geo News on Monday that Silsila Alikhil “had first claimed that her phone was stolen, and later handed her phone over but with the data deleted.”

Ahmed further claimed that “CCTV footage of the time of the incident had been reviewed and it was found that there were not two, but three taxis that she had used.”

“She took a taxi from Daman Koh and did not return home,” Ahmed told the news channel. Daman Koh is a hilltop garden and scenic overlook in Islamabad.

Ahmed said three surveillance videos “had been reviewed” over the weekend and “an attempt to acquire a fourth is being made.”

“The girl went from F-7 to Daman Koh and then over to the F-9 Park area,” the interior minister revealed of Silsila’s taxi route on July 16. F-7 is a section of Islamabad’s Blue Area, also known as its central business district. F-9 refers to Fatima Jinnah Park, which is located adjacent to Islamabad’s Blue Area.

Ahmed told Geo News that at a certain point in Silsila’s taxi journey “is a blind spot at the moment as the authorities have not been able to obtain the footage for the area yet.”

“The girl also used her mobile phone internet services while at Daman Koh,” he added.

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