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Afghan Ambassador’s Daughter Briefly Kidnapped in Pakistan

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the Pakistan Afghan border crossing following fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban in SpinBoldak border area, in Chaman, Pakistan, July 16, 2021.

Afghanistan said Saturday the daughter of its ambassador to neighboring Pakistan was briefly abducted and “severely tortured” by unknown assailants.

A foreign ministry statement issued in Kabul condemned the incident, saying Silsila Alikhil was on her way home in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, when she was taken captive “for several hours” by unknown individuals.

"After being released from the kidnappers' captivity, Ms. Alikhil is under medical care at the hospital," the statement added.

Kabul urged the Pakistani government to immediately "identify and prosecute the perpetrators.” It demanded full security and protection for Afghan diplomatic missions, along with their staff and their families.

The ministry later said it summoned the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul and formally lodged “a strong protest” over the incident.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the Afghan embassy had informed it that Alikhil “was assaulted while riding in a rented vehicle.” He noted in his statement that police immediately launched an investigation into “this disturbing incident,” and law enforcement agencies are trying to “trace and apprehend the culprits” to bring them to justice.

“Such incidents cannot and will not be tolerated,” Chaudhri said, adding that security of the Afghan ambassador and his family has been increased.

Traditionally strained diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have deteriorated in the wake of stepped-up attacks by Taliban insurgents against Afghan government forces amid the drawdown of U.S.-led forces in region.

Kabul has long accused Islamabad of allowing the Taliban to use Pakistani soil for directing insurgent attacks on the other side of the long border between the two countries.

Pakistani officials accuse the neighboring country of sheltering fugitive militants and allowing them to plot cross-border attacks in Pakistan.