Daughter of Afghan envoy kidnapped and injured in Pakistanon July 17, 2021 at 11:33 pm

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Afghan officials urge Pakistan to keep diplomats safe, amid tensions between the two neighbours.

Najib Alikhil, Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan

image copyrightNajib Alikhil on Twitter

The daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan was briefly kidnapped and injured by unknown assailants, officials say.

Silsila Alikhil was held for several hours after being seized on her way home in the Pakistani capital Islamabad on Friday.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry says she was “severely tortured” and it was lodging a complaint.

Relations between the two neighbours have long been strained.

Pakistani officials says Silsila Alikhil, who is in her 20s, was assaulted by assailants who got into a car she was travelling in and beat her up.

After her release she was treated in hospital. Condemning the “inhuman attack”, the ambassador, Najib Alikhil, said his daughter “feels better now” .

The Afghan foreign ministry expressed its “deep concern”, and urged Pakistan to guarantee the safety of diplomats and their families.

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The security of the ambassador has been tightened, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said. Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted the culprits caught rapidly.

In recent weeks, ties between the two countries have been deteriorating amid rising violence in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government accuses Pakistan of providing safe haven for Taliban militants waging an insurgency across the country.

Taliban militants have made advances across the country, seizing a series of border posts from Afghan forces.

The Taliban have moved swiftly as the US steps up the withdrawal of its forces from the country ahead of an 11 September deadline set by President Joe Biden.

Other allied countries, including the UK, have withdrawn nearly all military forces ahead of Mr Biden’s deadline.

Pakistan, for its part, accuses Afghanistan of allowing militants to launch attacks from its soil.

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