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Afghan women MPs write protest letter to Pak women parliamentarians over diplomat’s daughter kidnapping

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have hit rock bottom over Islamabad's support to terror (Photo: IANS)

Women parliamentarians from Afghanistan have expressed "utmost despair" over the kidnapping and assault of the Afghan ambassador's daughter in Pakistan. The parliamentarians said that the incident is a violation of diplomatic norms and an attack on human rights.

News agency ANI reports that Afghan women MPs have written a letter to their women counterparts in the Pakistan National Assembly on Saturday saying they hope the Pakistani women lawmakers will put pressure on the country's intelligence community on why this gross act of inhumanity was allowed to happen.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have deteriorated sharply after the US announced withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Seeking an opportunity, the Taliban is trying to wrest the country from the Afghan government through violence. President Ashraf Ghani has said that Pakistan is supporting the insurgents and has already pushed upto 10,000 terrorists inside Afghanistan.

On Friday, Pakistan retaliated by abducting Silsila Alikhil, Afghan envoy Najibullah Alikhil's daughter, and severely tortured her. She is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Pakistan has used the terror outfit as a strategic asset with a view to placing a friendly government in the saddle in Kabul. The Afghan government has launched a series of protests against Pakistan over its continued shelter and support to the Taliban militants.

The Afghan women MPs' letter also said: "If the intent is to end diplomatic relations with our country then there are internationally recognised protocols for that, otherwise attacking the daughter of a foreign ambassador is not only a gross violation of diplomatic norms but also an attack on human rights and women's rights".

"In regards to the regretful tragedy inflicted upon Silsila Alikhil, We hope you will raise your voice until the perpetrators are brought to justice. We hope that you will put pressure on your intelligence community on why this gross act of inhumanity was allowed to happen," the letter concluded.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Foreign Ministry too condemned the unprecedented act and asked Islamabad to take "immediate necessary actions to ensure full security of Afghanistan embassy and consulates as well as the immunity of the country's diplomats and their families in accordance with international treaties and conventions".

Reacting to the kidnapping and torture of the diplomat's daughter, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed him to utilise all resources to apprehend those involved in the "kidnapping" of the Afghan ambassador's daughter. Khan has set a deadline of 24 hours for the culprits to be apprehended.

He said that the premier had also told him that Islamabad Police and other law enforcement agencies must investigate the incident on "top priority".

Women's rights have taken a turn for the worse as the Taliban makes advances on Afghan territory. Already, not just Afghan women, even international organisations have expressed apprehensions that girls and women will be the biggest losers under the Taliban. Women in the landlocked South Asian country have made considerable progress regarding human rights and freedom. 

Read More: In message to Ghani, did Pakistan abduct and release daughter of Afghan Ambassador after torture?