Pakistan says it’s making all efforts to recover kidnapped diplomat

September 23rd, 2008 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, Sep 23 (DPA) Pakistan has assured Afghanistan that it is making earnest efforts to recover the Afghan ambassador-designate who was abducted in the north-western city of Peshawar, a foreign ministry statement said Tuesday.The Afghan diplomat was kidnapped by armed men Monday after an ambush during which his driver was shot dead. He was returning home in his official vehicle when it was intercepted in the upmarket Hayatabad neighbourhood.

“The government of Pakistan is taking all necessary measures for safe and early recovery of ambassador-designate Abdul Khaleq Farahi,” the statement cited Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi as saying during a talk with his Afghan counterpart Rangin Dadfar Spanta.

Both foreign ministers are in New York, accompanying their presidents in the 63rd United Nations General Assembly session.

Some media reports on Tuesday said authorities feared that the seized envoy had been transported to the lawless tribal region, which are considered a safe haven for militants having links with Al Qaeda and Taliban elements.

English-language DawnNews television channel quoted unnamed officials in the Khyber tribal district adjacent to Peshawar as saying that Farahi had been shifted to the notorious Mohmand region close to Afghan border.

No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction of Farahi, who was to take over as the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan in a week. Farahi has been working as the consul-general in Peshawar for the last six years.

Weeks before Farahi’s abduction, US diplomat Lynne Tracy escaped a similar attack when the armoured sports utility vehicle she was travelling in was attacked in Peshawar.

Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, was also abducted by suspected Taliban militants in the Khyber region Feb 11 when he was driving from Peshawar to Kabul. He was released after three months of captivity.

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