Pakistan s head of mission in Kabul survives assassination bid


Islamabad, Dec 3 : Pakistan's Head of Mission to Kabul, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani has survived an assassination bid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed. In a statement, the Ministry said the Embassy's compound in Kabul came under attack on Friday targeting the head of mission, but "by the grace of Allah Almighty, the head of mission is safe", Geo News reported. However, a Pakistani security guard Israr Mohammad has been critically injured in the attack while protecting Nizamani, the Foreign Office said. It said that Pakistan's government strongly condemns the assassination attempt and attack on the embassy demanding the Afghan government conduct an immediate investigation into the incident, Geo News reported. "The interim government of Afghanistan must immediately hold thorough investigations in this attack, apprehend the culprits, hold them to account, and take urgent measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani diplomatic personnel and citizens in Afghanistan," the Office added. While saving the head of mission during the attack, according to Geo News, the security guard sustained three bullets in his chest and was later shifted to a medical facility. Sources said that the attack took place while the Nizamani was on a walk. When the incident happened, there was no activity in the Pakistani Embassy due to weekly off. The head of mission and other officials are being called back to Pakistan temporarily, the sources said. In response to a media query, MOFA Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said there are no plans to close the embassy or withdraw diplomats from Kabul. The spokesperson said Pakistan is in contact with the Afghan government and enhanced security measures are being taken to protect Pakistani diplomatic personnel and missions in Afghanistan. Later in the day, Pakistan summoned Afghan Charge d'Affaires Sardar Muhammad Shokaib to convey its deep concern and anguish over the attack on Ambassador Nizamani, the Foreign Office said. The statement further added that the additional secretary for Afghanistan and West Asia conveyed Pakistan's grave concern over the serious incident in which the head of mission remained unhurt, Geo News reported. The Afghan official was informed that it was his country's responsibility to ensure that Pakistan's diplomatic missions and personnel remain safe, the Foreign Office said. "...this incident was an extremely serious security lapse," Pakistani officials told Shokaib. They demanded all necessary steps be taken to ensure the security of the diplomatic premises, officers, and staff working in Pakistan's mission in Kabul and Consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif. Calling the attack "highly unfortunate", the Afghan Charge d'Affaires said that the attack was perpetrated by the common enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari received a call from his Afghan counterpart Amir Khan Muttaqi in the wake of the attack, with the latter strongly condemning the incident, Geo News reported. Reiterating Afghanistan's firm resolve to combat terrorism, Muttaqi assured the Foreign Minister that the Taliba-led Afghan government would swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice. /IANS




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