Pakistan to help recover US national allegedly abducted by Taliban in Kabul: official

Published June 20, 2021
Taliban militants are seen in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. —Reuters/File
Taliban militants are seen in an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. —Reuters/File

The spokesperson of the Pakistan embassy in the United States said on Sunday that Islamabad will extend its help in the ongoing efforts to recover US national Mark Frerichs, who is reportedly in the captivity of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Spokesperson Maliha Shahid, who is a press attache at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, told the ABC News in response to its report that “Pakistan has always extended its assistance in recovering hostages in good faith, and not driven by incentives or pressure.”

The channel said that the location of Frerichs, a 58-year-old civil engineer, who was kidnapped in January 2020 from Kabul, was still not known.

The spokesperson also said that Islamabad had “no evidence to suggest that Mark Frerichs is being held in Pakistan” and that Pakistan “remains committed to play any role it can” to reunite Frerichs with his family.

She added that, “Pakistan has always regarded any assistance it can provide in helping the United States and other foreign countries with the recovery of their hostages from Afghanistan as a moral and humanitarian responsibility”.

ABC News, citing experts, said the US will lose most of whatever leverage it might have to free the hostage through one of the limited number of tracks the government has already contemplated or acted upon during his 17 months of Frerichs’ captivity after American military and special operations personnel leave Afghanistan expected to be by July Fourth.

The report said the options that had been considered for freeing Frerichs include trying to arrange a controversial prisoner exchange involving an Afghan druglord, ask Pakistan to influence the Haqqani network, or staging a high-risk rescue operation if the hostage can be located.

But ABC News said the hostage-rescue option was seen as even less likely than the prisoner exchange.

Opinion

Press and power
25 Sep 2021

Press and power

None used the press so brazenly as the Modi government.
Once upon a Taliban
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Once upon a Taliban

Something, somewhere is terribly wrong with how this story is unfolding.
Foundation of healthcare
24 Sep 2021

Foundation of healthcare

Primary healthcare is as much for healthy individuals as it for those suffering from ill health.

Editorial

25 Sep 2021

NAB controversy

THE completion of the four-year term of NAB chairman Javed Iqbal early next month has afforded Prime Minister Imran...
Cabinet ‘inclusivity’
Updated 25 Sep 2021

Cabinet ‘inclusivity’

Voices are being raised questioning when the much-hyped inclusivity the group had talked about will materialise.
25 Sep 2021

Quorum malady

LACK of quorum has become a chronic problem for the present National Assembly which is in the process of becoming a...
24 Sep 2021

Costs of growth

IS Pakistan’s growth party over? Not yet. But both the State Bank and government are now cutting down on the items...
Smear campaign
Updated 24 Sep 2021

Smear campaign

It is commendable that the government has taken the matter as seriously as it has, and delved deep into cyber investigations.
24 Sep 2021

Rising dengue cases

THE dengue monster is once again rearing its head in different cities of Punjab. More than 820 cases have surfaced ...