Pakistan reunites Afghan child with family

Pakistan reunites Afghan child with family
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua handed over Obaidullah, 15, to Afghan embassy officials. (Photo: Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Updated 19 January 2018

Pakistan reunites Afghan child with family

Pakistan reunites Afghan child with family

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan handed over a 15-year-old Afghan boy who went missing in Islamabad in 2015 to the Afghan Embassy on Friday.

Obaidullah came to Islamabad with his parents in November 2015, as his father was undergoing medical treatment. Obaidullah went missing, but was found, unattended, by Islamabad police on Nov. 7 that year.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Obaidullah would be travelling to Afghanistan to reunite with his family.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua told media representatives that Islamabad police had been unable to locate Obaidullah's parents in 2015, so the boy was placed into the custody of the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, who provided him with education, healthcare and psychological counseling.

“Meanwhile, the Pakistani authorities as well as our embassy in Kabul tried to trace his family in Afghanistan. Today, after the successful conclusion of these efforts, Obaidullah was handed over to the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad,” Janjua said.

Zardasht Shams, deputy head of mission at the Afghan Embassy, said: “I would like to express our gratitude and thanks to the government of Pakistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Child Welfare Protection Organization for recovering Obaidullah and for taking care of him for the past two years.”

“We may have our differences on certain issues but at the end of the day Pakistan and Afghanistan are the closest neighbors,” Janjua said. “Pakistan wishes nothing but the best for Afghanistan. We wish for peace and stability in Afghanistan and we are ready to work with the Afghan government and the people of Afghanistan to achieve this common objective.

“I would like to convey, through Obaidullah, to the people of Afghanistan our sincere wishes for peace and stability in Afghanistan. We want to work with you," she continued. "We want to work with all the Obaidullahs of Afghanistan and all the women of Afghanistan and all the boys and girls of Afghanistan.”