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Kidnapped former Afghan governor freed in Mardan shoot-out

Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi said he was being transported by his kidnappers, blindfolded, when they were stopped at a police checkpoint in Mardan.

Gunfire rang out, he said, and the three men holding him ran away.

Speaking from the Afghan consulate in Peshawar, he said he did not know who snatched him from an upscale district in Islamabad on February 12.

“The kidnappers did not talk about their demands and they did not put me in contact with my family,” the former Herat provincial governor told AFP.

He said they had treated him well, adding they had not tortured him and fed him regularly.

The F-7/2 sector of Islamabad where Wahidi was seized is a high security area that houses politicians, bureaucrats and expats.

A senior local police official who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity confirmed police had secured Wahidi’s release early Friday, but said he could give no further details about the kidnappers’ identity or whether a ransom was paid.

A senior diplomat in the Afghan consulate in Peshawar, Muhammad Wali Sultani, also confirmed Wahidi was handed over to them early Friday.

Afghanistan had summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul to its foreign ministry and expressed “serious concerns” over the kidnapping.

A statement from the Afghan foreign ministry Friday said it “appreciates” Pakistan’s efforts in freeing Wahidi, adding it “considers cooperation on such issues between both countries as necessary”.

Wahidi said he plans to fly to Kabul later Friday.

Wahidi was taken to various places after his abduction, Afghan Consul General Dr Abdullah Waheed Pohan said.

The consul general said he received a call from Mardan police early Friday and was informed that Wahidi had been recovered in the area after an encounter.

Wahidi, 66, was living in Islamabad’s F-7/2 and was with his grandson near Rana Market when two vehicles, one a black double cabin with a blue revolving light and the other a white Toyota Corolla stopped him.

Three people got out of the cars and forced Wahid into the double cabin before driving off. The Kohsar police had registered a case against his kidnapping on his nephew’s complaint.



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