Islamabad: Two staffers of Pakistan embassy in Kabul were detained for hours by Afghanistan intelligence officials (NDS) under unclear circumstances, prompting a strong protest from Islamabad, Radiao Pakistan reported.
The two men were in a stationery shop at a market when they were picked up by the sleuths of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) and taken to one of their detention centres along with the embassy’s official vehicle.
The staffers were identified as Hassan Khanzada, visa assistant at the embassy, and Syed Munir Shah, staff driver, in which Khanzada was manhandled during the detention, Radiao Pakistan reported..
Meanwhile Pakistan embassy approached the Afghan foreign ministry and sought immediate release of the two staffers.
The Afghan foreign ministry, reportedly after a bit of dilly-dallying, conceded that the two men had been taken into custody by the NDS, the report said.
Khanzada and Shah were released after three hours, it said, adding it was unclear why they were detained.
“The Afghan deputy head of mission was summoned to the Foreign Office today to lodge Pakistan’s strong protest over the incident in which two diplomatic officials in Kabul were detained, the FO said
Pakistan accused Afghanistan of violating Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations (1961).
“It was emphasised that such incidents undermined the constructive engagement which the two countries envisaged for strengthening of bilateral ties,” it said.
The incident served another blow to already fraught ties between the two countries. It happened amid latest efforts by the US-led coalition in Afghanistan to mend fences between Pakistan and Afghanistan.