Pakistan has 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, it emerged on December 3.
Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani survived an attack on Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul on Friday, drawing immediate condemnation and a demand for a probe from Islamabad.
Mr. Nizamani was targeted by unidentified gunmen while taking a walk in the embassy compound. His guard was critically injured in the attack.
The Pakistan Foreign Office said in a late-night statement that the Afghan diplomat was summoned on Friday evening and “conveyed Pakistan’s grave concern over the serious incident in which, thankfully, the Head of Mission remained unhurt” but the guard was seriously wounded.
“The Charge d’Affaires was conveyed that security and protection of Pakistan’s diplomatic Missions and personnel was the responsibility of the Afghan Interim Government and that this incident was an extremely serious security lapse,” it said.
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, it said.
Terming the attack “highly unfortunate”, the Afghan Charge d’Affaires said that it was perpetrated by the common enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan and has been condemned by the Afghan leadership in the strongest possible terms at the highest level.
He also informed that the security of the Pakistani diplomatic missions had already been beefed up and the Afghan authorities would leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice.
Separately, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari received a call from Acting Foreign Minister of Interim Government of Afghanistan Amir Khan Muttaqi in the wake of the attack, the Foreign Office said.
Mr. Muttaqi strongly condemned the attack targeting Nizamani. Reiterating Afghanistan’s firm resolve to combat terrorism, he assured the foreign minister that the Afghan government “will bring the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice swiftly”.
“The Afghan government must prevent the terrorists from undermining relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Mr. Bilawal said, adding that Pakistan will be undeterred by such cowardly attacks.
The Foreign Office rejected reports of the withdrawal of diplomats from Kabul, saying “there are no plans to close the embassy or withdraw diplomats from Kabul”.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch while responding to a query at a briefing on Friday said Afghanistan would live up to the promise of not allowing its territory to be used for terrorist activities in other countries.
She said Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar during her visit to Kabul raised “key concerns and preferences” of Pakistan and the two sides agreed to develop mechanisms for a follow-up on various issues.
“The Afghan side has reassured that the Afghanistan territory will not be used for terrorism against Pakistan or any other country,” she said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has condemned Friday's attack on the Pakistani embassy in Afghanistan's capital.
"The United States condemns the attack on the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul targeting its head of mission, Ubaid Nizamani, a senior diplomat. We offer our sympathies and wish a quick recovery to those affected by the violence. The United States is deeply concerned by the attack on a foreign diplomat, and we call for a full and transparent investigation," U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement on Friday.