Islamabad: Pakistan's Charge d’Affaires in Afghanistan Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani arrived here on Monday, three days after being targeted by unidentified gunmen while taking a walk in the Pakistan embassy compound in Kabul. Ambassador Nizamani escaped unharmed, but his guard was critically injured in the attack claimed by the Islamic State Khorasan chapter (IS) terror group.
Nizamani, who is on a pre-scheduled visit to Pakistan, will meet foreign ministry officials and hold consultations, according to the Express Tribune newspaper on Monday. He will return to Kabul in a couple of days, the report said. Charge d’Affaires Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani was targeted by unidentified gunmen while taking a walk in the Pakistan embassy compound on Friday.
His guard was critically injured in the attack. Pakistan repatriated the wounded guard by helicopter and he was being treated at a hospital.
The Islamic State (IS) on Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack. In a brief statement in Arabic on social media, the terror group's Khorasan chapter (ISIS-K) claimed that its two members armed with “medium weapons and snipers” targeted the ambassador and his guards who were present in the courtyard of the embassy on Friday.
In response, Pakistan's Foreign Office (FO) said that it was "verifying" the claim made by ISIS-K about the attack on its mission in Kabul. "Independently and in consultation with the Afghan authorities, we are verifying the veracity of these reports,” the Foreign Office said. "This notwithstanding, the terrorist attack is yet another reminder of the threat that terrorism poses to peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region,” it said.
Meanwhile, an official US report to Congress has expressed doubts about the Taliban’s ability to counter the IS, the Dawn newspaper reported on Monday. “Experts disagree about the potency of the ISKP threat and the Taliban’s self-asserted ability to counter the group without external assistance,” the newspaper quoted the report sent this week to Congress by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) as saying.
“An arguably more potent armed threat to the Taliban is the local Islamic State affiliate ISKP, a longtime Taliban adversary,” the CRS report said.
The US has also condemned Friday's attack on the Pakistani embassy in Afghanistan's capital and called for a full and transparent investigation.
On Friday, Pakistan summoned Afghanistan's Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad and conveyed to him its deep concern over the attack on the country's Head of Mission in Kabul.
Pakistan demanded that perpetrators of the attack must be apprehended and brought to justice urgently, an investigation be launched into the serious breach of security of the embassy premises, and that all necessary steps be taken to ensure the security of the diplomatic premises, officers and staff working in Pakistan’s Mission in Kabul and Consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif.
The attack came days after Pakistan's deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar flew to Kabul to hold talks with Muttaqi on a range of issues, including the latest threat from Pakistani Taliban who recently ended a months-long ceasefire with Pakistan and asked fighters to resume attacks across the country.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press, quoting the spokesperson from the Taliban government reported that an IS suspect was arrested on Monday in connection with the Pakistan Embassy attack. The suspect was a foreign national and the attack was organised jointly by IS and “rebels,” apparently a reference to anti-Taliban groups in Afghanistan, the AP report said. Nizamani has been in Kabul for less than a month since he took over the charge as head of mission, replacing former ambassador Mansoor Ahmed Khan on November 4.