Ambassador's Daughter Seized and Beaten

Afghanistan demands quick investigation by Pakistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 18, 2021 9:50 AM CDT
Afghanistan: Envoy's Daughter Was Abducted and Tortured
Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Pakistan's interior minister, holds a press conference Sunday regarding the abduction of the daughter of Afghan ambassador to Pakistan in Islamabad.   (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

The daughter of Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan was abducted in the middle of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, held for several hours, and brutally attacked, officials in both countries said Saturday. No one has been arrested in connection with Friday's assault on Silsila Alikhil, 26. The Afghan foreign ministry issued a statement demanding a quick investigation, saying she was "severely tortured." A hospital medical report said she suffered blows to her head, had rope marks on her wrists and legs, and was badly beaten, the AP reports. There was a suspicion that she had broken bones, and X-rays were ordered, the report said. The report also said that her abductors held her for over five hours and that she was brought to the hospital in Islamabad by police. There were no details about the abduction or her release. Pakistan said security at the residence of the Afghan ambassador has been reinforced.

The Afghan foreign ministry condemned the "heinous act" and expressed concern for Afghan diplomats and their families in Pakistan. Relations between the two countries are fraught with suspicion and animosity. They routinely trade accusations, with Afghanistan claiming Pakistan is sending thousands of jihadi militants to fight in Afghanistan and providing safe haven for the Taliban. Pakistan in turn accuses Kabul of harboring the anti-Pakistani group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan—the Pakistani Taliban—and the secessionist Baluchistan Liberation Army. As violence escalates in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, some Afghan officials have stepped up rhetoric against Pakistan. A Pakistani journalist who was shot in 2014 in Karachi noted that Pakistani journalists and even a police officer have been abducted in Islamabad, with few arrests ever made.

(More Pakistan stories.)

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