PESHAWAR: Unidentified gunmen abducted Afghanistan’s consul general Abdul Khaliq Farahi in Peshawar to an unknown place and his driver was killed in a brazen ambush on Monday. Six attackers in a black car followed the vehicle of Abdul Khaliq Farahi in Phase III of Hayatabad; his residence, forced it to pull over and shot his driver in the head, witnesses and police said. However there was no immediate claim of responsibility in this regard.
“The driver was killed in the firing, consul general Abdul Khaliq Farahi has been abducted,” Zahir Khan Babari, an official at the Afghan consulate, told AFP. The kidnappers were apparently aware of the Afghan diplomat’s movements, Babari said, adding: “They were waiting for him and when he came they seized him from his car.”
Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry said it had expressed its concerns to the Pakistani embassy in Kabul. “We demand that the Pakistani government do its utmost to free our diplomat,” Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Sultan Ahmad Baheen said. Ambassador to Pakistan: Farahi had recently been promoted as ambassador to Pakistan, consulate official Babari said, adding that he was yet to take over the position since his papers were still with the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.
Interior Adviser Rehman Malik said Farahi was traveling without informing the government and police. He told Geo News the diplomat had been taken to Jamrud and the kidnappers want to take him to Afghanistan or a remote area in Pakistan. A Foreign Office spokesman condemned the attack.
Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemning the kidnapping of Afghan Counsel General in Peshawar has directed his Advisor on Interior Rehman Malik to further strengthen the security of diplomats and the diplomatic missions.
In this connection Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said Afghan government has proposed forming a border control force with Pakistan and the U.S.-led coalition to combat insurgents crossing the frontier. The combined force should be “able to operate on both sides of the border” to help tackle a Taliban insurgency that is becoming increasingly violent, Wardak told reporters yesterday at the Pentagon. The government in Islamabad is looking at the proposal, which was made about six weeks ago at a meeting of Afghan, Pakistani and coalition officials, the Pentagon’s news service cited Wardak as saying.
Input from Agencies