Missing Pakistan’s envoy still alive: Foreign Office

February 13th, 2008 - 8:07 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, Feb 13 (ANI): The Pakistan Foreign Office on Wednesday said that its missing ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, is still alive and efforts are being made to find him.
“I cannot confirm that Taliban are holding the envoy and had demanded that a senior militant commander captured recently, be released in exchange,” said the Foreign Office spokesman Muhammad Sadiq in his weekly briefing.
Ambassador Azizuddin was heading towards Kabul with his driver and security guard when he disappeared in the Khyber tribal district bordering Afghanistan on Monday.
The spokesman only confirmed that Azizuddin is missing, adding that efforts are being made to recover him. “I am sure he is alive,” spokesman added.
He said no one had so far claimed responsibility for abduction and dismissed a report that Taliban militants wanted to swap the envoy for top commander Mullah Mansoor Dadullah.
Referring to the TV reports of Dadullah, he said nobody has contacted the government of Pakistan.
The spokesman said, “The issue is very sensitive, it relates to the life of a colleague.”
Replying to a question, the spokesman said at this stage there is no need for any foreign help from any country to recover the missing envoy.
He said it was a normal practice that diplomats and envoys travel by road from Peshawar to Kabul and it was nothing extraordinary in the case of Pakistan’s envoy to Kabul who travelled by road.
The spokesman said proper security was provided to the envoy during his travel to Kabul.
Replying to a question about the possiblity of China in the gas pipeline with Iran, the spokesman said Pakistan is committed to the project and added that Pakistan will welcome Chinese participation in the project.
He however, said India is still interested in the Iran-Pakistan-India project.
Replying to a question, the spokesman said more than 1000 observers including 500 journalists are arriving Pakistan for the general elections being held on February 18. (ANI)

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