Islamabad: Vowing to solve the conspiracy behind the abduction and torture of Afghan ambassador Najibullah Alikhil’s daughter at the earliest, Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that investigators were on the trail of the culprits after interrogating three taxi drivers who drove the victim to different places on Friday before she was briefly taken captive and assaulted. “I want to inform the international media that the police are investigating the case pertaining to the Afghan ambassador’s daughter. The government registered an FIR on the kidnapping, as per PM Imran Khan’s directives,” Ahmed said at a presser in Islamabad.
He said the Afghan envoy’s daughter Selsela Alikhil had left home on foot and arrived at a market, from where she hailed a taxi to another destination. “From the market, she took a taxi to Khadda Market for shopping.” According to the minister, security officials confirmed the route by examining footage from “safe-city cameras” installed in Islamabad. From Khadda Market, the minister said, the ambassador’s daughter took another taxi to Rawalpindi, a garrison city next to Islamabad. “We also have footage of her getting out of a taxi at a Rawalpindi shopping mall,” he said, adding that a third driver drove her from Daman-e-Koh (a hilltop garden in Islamabad) to a park in Islamabad’s sector F-9. Ahmed said CCTV footage of her trip from Rawalpindi to Daman-e-Koh was missing and the matter was under investigation. “Statements of the three taxi drivers have been recorded,” he said.
He said the Afghan embassy was in touch with the government and cooperating in the investigation. In a written statement, Selsela said she was returning home by taxi after visiting Islamabad’s Blue Area when the driver picked up another man. The latter allegedly hurled abuses and then assaulted her. She was dumped unconscious by the roadside. “She lost consciousness and can’t recall anything after that,” the Afghan embassy said. According to the statement, she regained consciousness at around 5 or 6 pm and, on enquiry, a passerby told her that she was in F-7 sector. “It was some road with no shopping or residential area nearby. She took a cab for the F-9 park as she knew that landmark,” the statement read.
From F-9 park she called a person named Hikmat, who picked her up in an official vehicle. “The dupatta (shawl) she had had a tissue paper and a Rs 50 currency note with a message, ‘Your turn is next’ and ‘communist’,” the statement said, adding that her shoes, and mobile phone were missing when she recovered her senses. “She was wearing a male’s shoes,” it stated. After being released, Alikhel has been receiving medical care at a local hospital.
Strongly condemning the attack, Afghanistan’s foreign affairs ministry expressed deep concern about the safety and security of its diplomats, their families, and the staff of the Afghan political and consular missions in Pakistan.