Missing Pak diplomats

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PAKISTAN has expressed serious concern over disappearance of its two diplomats based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. According to Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria, the two officials of Consulate General in Jalalabad are missing since June 16 while traveling to Pakistan by road. The Foreign Office has urged the Afghan Government to ensure their safety and recovery at the earliest but given the prevailing ground situation and level of writ of the Kabul government in the war-torn country it is a foregone conclusion what kind of response Pakistan’s request would get. The situation in Afghanistan is complicated and no one can say for sure what would have happened with the two officials but the incident comes in the wake of death penalty for Indian RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav and subsequent disappearance of Muhammad Habib Zahir, retired Lt Col of the Pakistan Army. Col. Habib disappeared from Lumbini near Nepal’s border with India and now suspected to be in Indian custody, was in the team that nabbed Kulbhushan Yadav in March 2016. This makes it quite evident that Indians are desperately trying to ‘capture’ some high value Pakistanis who could be bartered away with Yadav whose case is set to begin at the International Court of Justice in a few months and the outcome of which is a foregone conclusion. The Indian Express, quoting sources in Security Establishment, reported on April 12 that ‘Indian agencies had been on Zahir’s trail for long’. In this backdrop, the possibility of RAW-NDS nexus in the latest disappearances cannot be ruled out. Because of its decades-long engagement with Afghanistan, Pakistan has the necessary means to reach to bottom of the truth and hopefully concerned agencies and departments would do their work expeditiously to unmask those behind the crime. We may also point out that Indian intentions and designs are quite obvious and its Consulates in Afghanistan are continuously engaged in anti-Pakistan activities. This is known to all, therefore, our officials and those responsible for their safety and security should have exercised extra care, which they didn’t. While taking necessary diplomatic and other measures for safe and early recovery of the two officials, it is hoped that security of other Pakistani diplomats would be ensured.