Mystery surrounds Afghan official’s alleged abduction in Pakistan

Shahid Shalmani & Syed Salahuddin | Special to Arab News
Tue, 2017-10-31 20:24

PESHAWAR/KABUL: The details of a senior Afghan official’s alleged kidnapping in Pakistan are becoming increasingly mysterious, Arab News can report.
Mohammad Nabi Ahmadi, the deputy governor of Kunar province, was registered as the victim of a kidnapping on Sunday in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where he had gone for medical treatment.
His brother Habibullah told police that Ahmadi was walking near Dabgari Gardens, an area that houses several specialist medical clinics, at around 9 p.m. on Friday when a car with tinted windows pulled up and the Afghan official was bundled inside.
However, Arab News has learned that the Pakistani police are treating Habibullah’s story as “suspicious.”
To begin with, a police official from the police checkpoint near Civil Quarters, where the kidnapping was initially registered, said Habibullah only reported his brother’s abduction until the morning after the incident took place, having stayed the night in a hotel. And when he did finally report the case, the official told Arab News that he gave no helpful information and did not mention the fact that his brother was a high-ranking Afghan official.
“We asked him about the number and color of the car in which the Afghan official had been taken,” the official said. “But he said he does not know.”
The official also said that when police requested that Habibullah come to the station to help with their inquiries, “he lied to us and said he was in Islamabad. But when we traced his number, we found he was present in Peshawar.”
He added that Habibullah was no longer cooperating with the police inquiry.
Arab News called Habibullah on the telephone number he had provided to police when reporting the incident. However, the person who answered the phone denied he was Habibullah, and refused to say anything further.
Abdul Ghani Musamim, the spokesmen for the governor of Kunar, confirmed to Arab News that Ahmadi was visiting Peshawar for medical treatment.
“His family informed authorities that he had been abducted in Peshawar by armed men on Friday. We do not know the motive behind this. No group has claimed responsibility for it. We have been in touch with our diplomatic missions in Pakistan to investigate the incident.”
An Afghan Foreign Ministry official told Arab News that the Afghan embassy and consulate had not been informed that Ahmadi would be visiting Peshawar, and confirmed that Pakistani authorities have been informed of his abduction. Like Musamim, the official said he was unaware of the reason behind Ahmadi’s reported abduction.
The Taliban have denied any involvement in Ahmadi’s kidnapping, Reuters reported.
“We heard that a deputy Afghan governor went missing in Pakistan but let me clarify that we don’t operate outside Afghanistan,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was quoted as saying. “In Pakistan, our leadership has strictly forbidden our people from any sort of activities, as this is not our policy.”

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