US condemns shooting at Pakistan’s embassy in Afghanistan

Shots were fired at the embassy from a nearby building, wounding a guard



Pakistan's Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar greets Ubaid-ur-Rahman Nizamani, head of Mission of Embassy of Pakistan, upon her arrival in Kabul in November. - Reuters file
Pakistan's Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar greets Ubaid-ur-Rahman Nizamani, head of Mission of Embassy of Pakistan, upon her arrival in Kabul in November. - Reuters file

By AP

Published: Sun 4 Dec 2022, 12:00 AM

The United States on Saturday condemned an attack a day earlier on the Pakistani embassy in Afghanistan’s capital, in which a senior Pakistani diplomat escaped unhurt but one of his Pakistani guards was wounded, sending a wave of anger in this Islamic nation.

Friday’s assault came amid rising tensions between the South Asian neighbours over Islamabad’s claims that anti-Pakistan government forces are organising terrorist attacks from hideouts in Afghanistan.

Shots were fired at the embassy from a nearby building by an as-yet known assailant or assailants. Shortly after the shooting, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif took to Twitter on Friday, calling the attack an “assassination attempt” against Pakistan’s head of mission in Afghanistan, Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani.

Pakistan repatriated the wounded guard Israr Mohammad by helicopter and he was being treated at a hospital on Saturday.

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The embassy attack came days after Pakistan’s deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar flew to Kabul to hold talks with Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on a range of issues, including the latest threat from Pakistani Taliban who recently ended a monthslong ceasefire with Pakistan and asked fighters to resume attacks across the country.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price on Friday said the US condemned the embassy attack, telling reporters “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,” Price said.

The US chargé d’affaires for Afghanistan, Karen Decker, also condemned the attack on Nizamani in a tweet on Saturday.

“Outraged at attack on my diplomatic counterpart @PakinAfg, Ubaid Nizamani; I am grateful he is safe & wish a quick recovery to the brave security guard who was injured. I join the call for a swift, thorough and transparent investigation,” Decker wrote.

Muttaqi on Friday evening called Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to condemn the “terrorist attack” targeting Nizamani, according to a Pakistani Foreign Ministry statement.

Muttaqi assured Bhutto-Zardari that “the Afghan government will bring the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice swiftly,” the statement said.


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