Abducted Afghan envoy pleads to save his life in video footage

The abductors of Aghanistan`s ambassador-designate to Pakistan Abdul Khaliq Farahi, who was kidnapped in Peshawar in 2008, Sunday released a video in which he was pleading to authorities to accept the demands of his captors.

Last Updated: May 02, 2010, 21:22 PM IST

Islamabad: The abductors of Aghanistan`s
ambassador-designate to Pakistan Abdul Khaliq Farahi, who was
kidnapped in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2008, Sunday
released a video in which he was shown pleading to authorities
to accept the demands of his captors.

A hitherto unheard militant group, Kateeba Salahuddin
Ayubi, issued the video in Waziristan tribal region and
claimed responsibility for Farahi`s kidnapping.

It was the first public statement by the envoy since
he disappeared.

Farahi, 53, was abducted by armed men from the
Hayatabad area of Peshawar. His driver was shot dead by the
kidnappers.

The diplomat, who hails from Afghanistan`s western
Farah province, served as the Consul General in Quetta after
the fall of the Taliban regime in Kabul.

In April 2002, he was appointed as Consul General in
Peshawar and served in the position for six years. In August
2008, he was named as Afghanistan`s ambassador to Pakistan.
He was kidnapped before he could present his
credentials.

"I am Abdul Khaliq Farahi. Dear listeners, as you
know, a year and six months ago mujahideen arrested me from
Peshawar. For the past one year and six months, I have been
spending my days and nights in very critical conditions," said
Farahi, who has shown in the video wearing pants and a
half-sleeve shirt.

"I appeal to my government and Afghan nation as well
as the international community to make their last attempt and
save my life. These people have accused me of working with
misled and US representative government of Afghanistan and the
punishment of this crime is death sentence," he said.

After Farahi recorded his statement, an armed militant
standing behind him began recording his own statement in
aggressive tone.

Besides highlighting the successes and achievements of
mujahideen, the militant said it was blessing of Allah that
they captured Farahi.

"This man Abdul Khaliq Farahi is an Afghan national.
He is in our jail now. He was Afghanistan`s ambassador to
Pakistan when he was captured by mujahideen. Pakistan too is a
renegade country and is helping the US as a frontline state,"
the militant said.

He said Farahi was in their custody for the 18 months
but they did not make this public as they were holding secret
talks with the Afghan government.

"We were holding negotiations with the Karzai
government and forwarded him our demands for the release of
the ambassador. Our demands were legitimate and in the
interest of Islam, mujahideen and the Afghan people.

"A week before this issuing this video, the mujahideen
suspended their talks as Karzai and his government did not
show any seriousness in the negotiations and refused to answer
our questions," he said.

PTI