RAWALPINDI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Tuesday that there was no evidence of kidnapping of Afghan ambassador’s daughter and it was a conspiracy to defame Pakistan.

He said that investigations in Dasu bus tragedy had been completed and China was satisfied with Pakistani investigations. “Some elements hatched conspiracy to create a rift between two time-tested friends, China and Pakistan,” he said.

Talking to media outside his Lal Haveli residence, the minister said that Afghan ambassador’s daughter Silsila Alikhil had not been kidnapped, the fourth taxi driver involved in the incident had also been traced and police had investigated all taxi drivers involved in the episode. He said that police had registered a case on the application of Afghan ambassador’s daughter just to probe the incident. “We expected that Afghan ambassador’s daughter will become part of the investigation,” he said.

The minister said that Islamabad police had reviewed over 700-hour footage of 300 closed-circuit cameras installed on the route of Ms Alikhil and interviewed over 200 people. He said that the four taxi drivers had no criminal record.

Says China satisfied with Dasu bus tragedy probe

Mr Rashid said that some elements wanted to destabilise Islamabad’s relations with China and Afghanistan. “But we will foil their conspiracies under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.”

He said that the timing of three incidents was enough to prove that a conspiracy had been hatched against Pakistan as Dasu bus tragedy happened a day before the meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’s Joint Coordination Committee. The Johar Town incident took place a day before the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting and the incident involving Afghan ambassador’s daughter happened a day before a conference on Afghan peace process.

He said that the investigation into the Dasu incident had been completed and the Chinese government had expressed satisfaction over the investigation being carried out by Pakistan to find out culprits.

“An unannounced international hybrid war has been started against Pakistan. India and Israel do not like Imran Khan,” he said.

Sheikh Rashid said that peace in Afghanistan was necessary for peace in Pakistan and Islamabad would continue its efforts to establish peace in Afghanistan without interfering into internal affairs of Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan would accept any decision taken by Afghans about their affairs.

Replying to a query, the minister said that the footage pertaining to the case of Afghan ambassador’s daughter had been sent to the Foreign Office and now it was its responsibility to inform Afghan diplomats about the situation.

He said that the government planned to make the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad a special security zone after Eid holidays.

To another question about the situation in Afghanistan, he said that Pakistan would accept the Afghans’ decision about their internal matters and “we will not interfere”.

In reply to a question about fake Computerized National Identity Cards issue, the minister said that the investigations were under process as seven people had been arrested in Karachi and show-cause notices issued to 19 officials of the National Database and Registration Authority. “We will soon apprehend those who are involved in making fake CNICs,” he said.

Talking about PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz, he said that she was campaigning against Imran Khan in Azad Jammu and Kashmir but despite her propaganda, Mr Khan’s party would sweep the elections in the region and her false narrative would be exposed by the people on polling day.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021

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