ISLAMABAD/KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan’s government on Saturday appealed to Pakistan to take action to find and free a former provincial governor who has been kidnapped in Islamabad.
Fazlullah Wahidi, former governor of Afghanistan’s western Herat province, was abducted on Friday afternoon in the Pakistani capital, the Afghan foreign ministry said.
The motive for the kidnapping was not clear, but the Afghan government asked Pakistani authorities “to use all their tools and possibilities to identify the group of kidnappers and take action to free Wahidi immediately”, the foreign ministry said.
The former Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who is reportedly close to Wahidi, issued a separate statement on Facebook about the “respectable elder”, who he said had traveled to Pakistan to apply for a visa to the United Kingdom. The UK does not issue visas to Afghans in Kabul.
An official in Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that the Afghan embassy had reported Wahidi missing, and local police were investigating.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have been seeking to mend relations in recent months in part to foster peace talks with the Taliban to end Afghanistan’s nearly 15-year-old war.
Mistrust on both sides is deeply ingrained, however, with each accusing the other of failing to crack down on Islamist militants who find safe haven in lawless border areas.
Reporting by Mehreen Zahra-Malik and Mirwais Harooni. Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Andrew Bolton