ISLAMABAD - A senior Afghan government official has disappeared in neighboring Pakistan, where he was seeking medical treatment in a private capacity, officials revealed Saturday.
The deputy governor of the eastern Kunar province, Qazi Muhammad Nabi, was in Peshawar before being “abducted”, his relatives informed the Afghan consulate in the northwestern Pakistani city.
No one has claimed responsibility for the alleged kidnapping.
Local police say they have launched an investigation after receiving information from consulate officials but said they were neither aware nor informed by Afghan authorities about Nabi’s arrival in Peshawar.
An Afghan diplomatic source also confirmed the missing deputy governor was in Pakistan on his “ordinary passport” and they were also unaware of his presence in the country.
There are an estimated three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan, half of them undocumented. Most of them are in the Pakistani border province of Khyber Pakhtunkhaw. Peshawar is its capital city.
A large number of Afghan officials belong to the refugee community and often visit Pakistan to visit families and receive medical treatment.
Kunar, where Nabi is the deputy governor, is one of the volatile Afghan provinces bordering Pakistan. Taliban insurgents and members of the Afghan branch of Islamic State have bases in Kunar.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have recently deteriorated over mutual allegations of supporting and sheltering anti-state militants to plot terrorist attacks against each other's soils.