Pakistan’s embassy, Hekmatyar’s office attacked in Kabul


MONITORING (SW) – Kabul saw armed assaults on Friday on the Pakistani embassy and the headquarters of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of the Hezb-e-Islami party.

Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said one suspect was arrested after security forces rushed to the embassy and stopped the ongoing firing.

He said details of the clearance operation would be shared later, adding that weapons were recovered.

The Afghan foreign ministry condemned the incident. Taliban foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi issued a statement saying that security institutions would “seriously investigate” the incident and identity the perpetrators to punish them.

Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul came under attack on Friday with Chargé d’Affaires (CdA) to Afghanistan Ubaidur Rehman Nizamani targeted, according to a press release from the Foreign Office (FO).

The FO in Islamabad said the embassy compound came under attack and while Nizamani remained safe, a security guard, Sepoy Israr Mohammad, was “critically injured” in the attack while protecting the mission head.

The press release said Pakistan “strongly condemns” the assassination attempt against Nizamani and the attack on the embassy compound.

“The interim government of Afghanistan must immediately hold thorough investigations in this attack, apprehend the culprits, hold them to account, and take urgent measures to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani diplomatic personnel and citizens in Afghanistan,” the FO said.

Nizamani took charge as the mission head on November 4.

Later in the day, the FO said that the Afghan CdA was summoned in the evening to convey “Pakistan’s deep concern and anguish” over the attack.

The FO said the Afghan CdA was conveyed that the security and protection of Pakistan’s diplomatic missions and personnel was the “responsibility of the Afghan interim government” and the incident was an “extremely serious security lapse”.

“It was underscored that perpetrators of this 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.”

According to the press release, the Afghan CdA called the attack “highly unfortunate” and that it was perpetrated by the “common enemies of Pakistan and Afghanistan”.

“The attack 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 assured that the Afghan authorities would leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrators of this dastardly act to justice,” the press release reads.

Separately on Friday, three unidentified militants detonated a car bomb and tried to storm the headquarters of an Afghan party headed by veteran politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, officials said.

Ghairat Baheer, an official with the Hizb-i-Islami party, told AFP that two attackers were killed as they tried to enter the Kabul building — which also houses a mosque — and a third escaped.

“The car detonated outside, so there was little damage,” he said.

Officials said Hekmatyar — a wily politician who served as prime minister in the 1990s — was inside at the time, but was unhurt.

Obaidullah Muddabir, a senior district police officer, confirmed two attackers had been killed but said he believed the third had been captured.

“I am outside the compound … the situation is under control,” he said.

“The guards at Hizb-i-Islami office told us that there were three attackers. They killed two while one was injured before they reached the target.”

Hekmatyar is regarded as a political survivor in Afghanistan, having fought against the Soviet occupation, the Taliban’s first stint in power, and the Western-backed government that ruled until August last year.