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Pakistan forces in crackdown for missing ambassador


Peshawar : Pakistani security forces Thursday launched crackdown against tribesmen to punish them for their failure to recover the country’s ambassador to Afghanistan, who is believed to have been kidnapped on Monday.

The ambassador, Tariq Azizuddin, had been travelling by car from Pakistan to Afghanistan but was kidnapped in the Kheyber Agency tribal region.

Pakistani Taliban have denied any role in the abduction.

The Foreign Ministry says that no group has contacted the government to claim responsibility of the abduction.

The government had convened a jirga or council of tribal elders on Wednesday and urged them recover the ambassador.

There has been no progress in search operation over the last three days and the forces began crackdown on the tribesmen and arrested nine of them, witnesses and local TV channels reported.

The authorities defend the action saying that tribesmen are to be taken into custody under the `collective responsibility law’ as the crime has been committed on main road in their area.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman Muhammad Sadaiq said Wednesday he hopes that ambassador is alive and safe.

Driver and ambassador’s guard are also missing with their car.

Officials say that the forces will continue crackdown to arrest more people if the ambassador was not recovered.

Many areas in the border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan are strongholds of pro-Taliban militants but they have not claimed responsibility for the abduction.

Azizuddin was going to Kabul from Peshawar by road when he was kidnapped on Monday in Khyber Agency.

Two workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross were also kidnapped in Kheyber Agency last week.

There has been no news about their whereabouts since then.