Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Afghanistan

Newsline: Afghanistan summons Pakistan’s ambassador over shelling

Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to Afghanistan on Saturday in protest against recent cross-border shelling, according to a ministry statement. Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai summoned Ambassador Abrar Hussain to denounce the shelling by Pakistani forces following a spate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including a suspected suicide bombing at a Sufi shrine in southern Sindh province that left more than 80 people dead Thursday. Pakistani military had pointed fingers at Afghanistan hours after the shrine blast. Spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor tweeted Thursday that recent terrorist acts were being executed “on directions from hostile powers and from sanctuaries in Afghanistan. We shall defend and respond.” Later, pro-military media outlets in Pakistan reported that Pakistani military had destroyed alleged terror training camps inside Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Kunar provinces. However, Afghan officials said the cross-border shelling had killed a women and her son apart from leaving several civilians injured and forcing tens of families to flee their homes. On Friday, Pakistan’s military spokesman tweeted that Afghan embassy officials had been called in at army headquarters and given a list of “76 terrorists” said to be hiding in Afghanistan. The officials were asked to take immediate action against them.


Newsline: Afghanistan, Pakistan to jointly investigate Afghan diplomat’s killing

A security guard gunned down a senior Afghan diplomat at the Afghan consulate in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi on Monday. The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said a delegation comprising of Afghan and Pakistani officials will be investigating the incident, ANI reported. Third secretary of Afghan consulate, Muhammad Zaki Abduh died from his injuries shortly after the shooting, Pakistan daily the Dawn quoted consulate spokesman, Haris Khan as saying. The guard was immediately taken into custody. Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said “firing inside Afghan Consulate General in Karachi has been carried out by an Afghan guard,” Afghan media reported. The motive behind the murder has not been ascertained as of now. However, Karachi deputy inspector general (DIG) south, Azad Khan said,”It seems the guard had some sort of personal grudge with the diplomat.”


Newsline: Afghan diplomat killed in embassy in Pakistan

An Afghan diplomat was shot dead on Monday by a guard at the Afghan consulate in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi in a personal dispute, officials said. The consulate’s third secretary was killed by the consulate guard, also an Afghan national, who has been arrested, police official Saqib Ismail told Reuters. “The guard used his automatic weapon, firing multiple bullets,” Mr Ismail said. Afghanistan’s ministry for foreign affairs issued a statement identifying the murdered diplomat as Mohammed Zaki Abdu.


Newsline: Car Bomb Kills Seven Near US Embassy in Afghanistan

Three NATO coalition troops were killed and five wounded Tuesday in a blast near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the coalition said. There was no word on the nationalities of those who died. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, in a statement emailed to journalists. Kabul police spokesperson Hashmatullah Stanikzai said 13 civilians were wounded and 18 vehicles were damaged. An Afghan official at the interior ministry told CBS News one Afghan translator who was with coalition troops was also killed. Faird Afzalai, the chief of criminal investigations for police in the Afghan capital told CBS News a suicide car bomber targeted a troop convoy on a busy road that runs from the embassy to the airport, near the country’s Supreme Court, in front of a new Kabul compound that houses U.S. troops. A white plume of smoke could be seen rising in the sky after Tuesday’s blast, which rattled windows in nearby neighborhoods.


Newsline: India’s Foreign Secretary reviews mission security in Afghanistan

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh air-dashed to Afghanistan to review the security arrangements at the Indian Consulate in Herat which was attacked by terrorists last week. According to official sources, she took stock of the situation arising from the attack and held extensive discussions in this regard with Indian Ambassador Amar Sinha and other senior officials. The top Indian diplomat also met the ITBP personnel who, along with Afghan security forces, repulsed the attack. The consulate staff escaped unharmed in the attack while all four terrorists were killed. India has decided to further beef up the security at the Indian Embassy in Kabul as well the consulates at Herat, Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar. New Delhi’s apprehension is that such attacks on Indian assets are only going to increase in the run-up to the withdrawal by foreign forces from Afghanistan.


Newsline: Two Americans injured in consulate vehicle attack in Afghanistan

Two Americans have been injured in an attack on a U.S. consulate vehicle in western Herat province in Afghanistan, the U.S. embassy said in a statement on Wednesday. Both were receiving treatment at a Spanish hospital in the province, it said. “The U.S. government is working closely with Afghan authorities to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice,” the statement said. It did not say when the attack took place.


Newsline: U.S. embassy staff blows cover on CIA agent in Afghanistan

In an embarrassing flub, the Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president’s surprise Memorial Day weekend trip to Bagram Air Field. The officer’s name – identified as “chief of station” in Kabul – was included by U.S. embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during the Saturday visit. The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House “press pool” list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients. The Associated Press is withholding the officer’s name at the request of the Obama administration, who said its publication could put his life and those of his family members in danger. A Google search appears to reveal the name of the officer’s wife and other personal details. White House officials realized the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief’s name. Other major news organizations, including the Post, also agreed not to publish the officer’s name. The reporter who distributes the pool report sends it to the White House to be checked for factual accuracy and then forwarded to the thousands of journalists on the email distribution list, so in this case the White House failed on at least two occasions to recognize that the CIA official’s name was being revealed and circulated so broadly. The intentional disclosure of the name of a “covered” operative is a crime.