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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan sending envoy to Iraq to secure release of kidnapped diplomat

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 11, IRNA
Pakistan is sending a special envoy to Iraq to discuss with Iraqi authorities the kidnapping of a Pakistani embassy official in Baghdad, Foreign Office said on Monday.

Pakistani embassy staffer in Baghdad Malik Mohammed Javed was kidnapped on Saturday after going to a Baghdad mosque for evening prayers.

"The prime minister chaired a meeting today to discuss this issue with the participation of minister of state and other senior officials.

"It was decided to dispatch a special envoy to Iraq; Mr Ihsanullah Khan, a roving ambassador, would be leaving shortly for Iraq to basically discuss this issue with the Iraqi government," Foreign Office Spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani told the weekly press briefing.

Jilani said Pakistan ambassador-designate to Iraq Younas Khan would also be leaving shortly for Iraq.

The spokesman said that the embassy staffer has been kidnapped apparently for 'ransom'". He did not give further details.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday his abduction had been claimed by the Omar bin Khattab group.

"He has contacted the embassy to say he is safe," Jilani added.

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Monday that the captors have established contacts with Pakistani authorities.

The Iraqi ambassador to Pakistan was called to the Foreign Ministry on Monday and was asked to help secure the early and safe release of Mr Javed.

::IRNA No.074 11/04/2005 16:51 --End

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