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Islamabad says two Pakistani diplomats have gone missing in Afghanistan

18 June 2017

The two missing officials - they work in Pakistan's consulate in Afghanistan - went missing while travelling back to their home country by road, Pakistan's Foreign Office said.

"The matter has been raised with the relevant Afghan authorities for their safety and recovery, at the earliest", said the ministry.

Pakistan on Sunday said that two of its diplomatic officials from its consulate in Afghanistan had gone missing since Friday.

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"We had not received any information from the Afghan officials until late Saturday", a Pakistani source said.

People regularly go missing in Afghanistan as the country has always been facing instability due to continued fighting between the government forces and the Taliban radical movement (outlawed in Russia), which seized vast territories in the Afghan rural areas.

There are two possibilities - either a criminal gang has kidnapped them for ransom or Afghan security officials have taken them into custody.

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Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar province, is a busy trading hub about 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the main border crossing with Pakistan, from which landlocked Afghanistan imports much of its goods.

The Taliban and militants linked to the ISIS both operate in eastern Afghanistan.

Pakistan has claimed that Afghanistan is not doing enough to tackle Pakistani Taliban fighters who have been driven out of Pakistan, but who still carry out attacks across the border.

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The incident occurred almost a month after Afghan intelligence officials detained two staffers of Pakistani embassy in Kabul for three hours.

Islamabad says two Pakistani diplomats have gone missing in Afghanistan