A member of Pakistan’s diplomat corps serving at the consulate in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad city was shot dead on Monday. As per statement of Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Zahid Nasrullah Khan, two assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on Nayyar Iqbal as he bought goods from a shop. Fifty-two year old Nayyar Iqbal was laid to rest in his hometown of Peshawar on Wednesday.
Pakistani officials working in the consul general in Jalalabad receive constant threats. Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province which borders Pakistan, but security situation is not ideal in that region for Pakistani officials working there. Few months before, two Pakistani diplomats working at the same consulate in Jalalabad were kidnapped. When Pakistani authorities put pressure both the abducted diplomats were freed.
The Foreign Secretary summoned the Charge d’Affaires of Afghanistan as soon as the news was received. The President of Afghanistan has called the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Afghan National Security Adviser has also called the NSA of Pakistan. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan has sent a message to the Foreign Secretary to condemn the killing. Afghan authorities have given assurances for a thorough investigation of this incident to bring the perpetrators to justice and expose the forces behind this heinous act. But Pakistan must forcefully take the matter of security of its diplomatic staff with Afghan authorities. Authorities in Afghanistan have launched an investigation into the incident, but no arrests have been made so far. Pakistan must be informed regularly about the progress made in the investigation. Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul and Consul General in Jalalabad must remain in contact with Afghan authorities to keep informed about the developments on the issue.
There are multiple actors active in Afghanistan and friendly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan do not go well with certain elements. Indian spy agency RAW is involved in terrorist networks in Afghanistan including TTP, Al-Qaida and ISIS etc. They have been involved in subversive activities and working against the national interest of Pakistan in Afghanistan. In such a scenario, it is responsibility of Afghan government to provide fool proof security to diplomatic staff of Pakistan working inside the country.