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Former Afghan governor rescued

February 27, 2016

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SWABI: Fazlullah Wahidi, a former governor of an Afghan province who was kidnapped in Islamabad about two weeks ago, was recovered here in the early hours of Friday.

According to police, he was rescued on the Swabi-Mardan road.

They said the kidnappers had been arre­sted and were being interrogated.

Afghan Ambassador Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal welcomed the recovery of Mr Wahidi and termed it a significant achievement of the law enforcement agencies. “Recovery of Mr Wahidi will help strengthen trust and confidence between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said in a statement.

“At our end, we will use this and other opportunities for broadening interactions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which in turn will result in more trust and confidence and ultimately in a very special relationship between our two brotherly countries.”

According to sources, Mr Wahidi was recovered after law enforcement agencies carried out coordinated action in the area late into the night.

There were reports that security personnel and the kidnappers exchanged fire.

The sources said the authorities handed over Mr Wahidi to the Afghan consulate in Peshawar at around 3am and he was later shifted to Islamabad.

Mr Wahidi, who had served as governor of Herat and Kunar provinces, was kidnapped on Feb 12. He told a reporter that he was kidnapped from the federal capital’s Jinnah Super Market.

The Afghan consul general in Peshawar, Dr Abdullah Waheed Poyan, said he was in good health.

Neither police nor Mr Wahidi spoke about kidnappers’ the motives and demands.

He said his captors spoke Pushto, Urdu, English and Punjabi.

“The kidnappers did not talk about their demands and they did not put me in touch with my family,” he said.

He said his captors kept him at three different places and blindfolded him while taking him from one place to another.

An official said it appeared that the kidnappers were trying to shift him to another place when police took action on the basis of information provided by intelligence agencies.

According to Reuters, the Swabi police chief said three kidnappers had been arrested.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2016