ISLAMABAD, Nov 21: Russia has asked Pakistan through its embassy in Islamabad to trace out seven Russian nationals once held in Pakistan who disappeared after their release - one of them even from the official records.

Dawn learned on Monday that the National Crisis Management Cell of the interior ministry has written to all administrative and police chiefs of the provinces to search the seven Russians wanted in their own country and by the Interpol for unspecified crimes. Russian ambassador Andrey Budnik discussed with the interior secretary last month the issue of the seven Russians detained in Pakistan between 2005 and 2008, mainly for crossing into Pakistan illegally, and then disappeared.

Mukhadin Abaev was the last to be arrested in September 2008. Official records are silent on why he was arrested and where he was kept, according to a source who is working on the list of the wanted missing Russians that the Russian embassy communicated to the Pakistan Foreign Office on Nov 2.

Pakistani authorities did not grant consular access to the Russian embassy to some of them and delayed the access to others, according to the communication.

Three of them - Rustam Akhmetshin, Marat Girfanov and Irek Khamidullin - were arrested twice. Russian authorities say their current place of detention is not known.

Three others - Nail Kadiev, Myansur Ramazanov and Fayrit Yanglichev - were arrested in December 2006 and kept in Rawalpindi Jail. The government of Punjab released them in October 2008 for deportation. “Reason of (their) release and whereabouts are unknown,” said the Russian embassy communication.

It also said that the decision to release of Kadiev was communicated to the embassy “only in March 2010” while in the case of the release of the other two “the embassy has not been informed officially as yet”.

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