Conflicts & War

Pakistan denounces assassination attempt on its Afghanistan mission chief

Islamabad/Kabul, Dec 2 (EFE).- Pakistan denounced an assassination attempt on Friday against the head of its mission in Afghanistan, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani.

The attack on the Pakistani embassy in Kabul left a security guard “seriously wounded”, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

“The head of mission is safe. However, a Pakistani security guard (…) was seriously injured in the attack while protecting the head of mission,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns the attempted assassination of the head of mission and the attack on its embassy compound in Kabul,” the statement added.

It also called on the Taliban interim government, in power since August last year, to “immediately” investigate the attack, apprehend the culprits and take “urgent steps” to ensure the safety of Pakistani diplomatic personnel.

Pakistani prime minister Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the “assassination attempt” against his senior representative in Kabul, and hailed the bravery of the security guard, “who took a bullet to save his life,” while praying for his recovery.

No armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban government “strongly condemned the failed shooting attack” on the Pakistani diplomatic headquarters in a statement in which it expressed its good wishes for the speedy recovery of the wounded security guard.

It also assured that it “will not allow any malicious actor to pose a threat to the security of diplomatic missions in Kabul,” and guaranteed a “serious investigation” into the matter.

Kabul was the scene of another high-profile failed attack on Friday, as two suicide attackers in an explosives-laden vehicle attempted to target Islamic leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, also known as “the Butcher of Kabul,” who was at a mosque in his office compound to deliver a sermon.

The assailants were shot by security forces before the attack, although one of the guards was killed.

The embassy attack occurred in the same week that Pakistani Deputy foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul as the first official envoy to Afghanistan of the new Sharif government for talks with Islamists on key security issues.

Khar’s presence as head of the delegation, representing Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, was symbolic, having assumed a position of power and dealing with a Taliban government which has severely restricted the rights of women and girls and whose top posts are held exclusively by fundamentalist men.EFE


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