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

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.”


Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

Updated 28 January 2020

Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

  • Probe launched into cause of Monday’s incident as Taliban claim responsibility for shooting down jet

KABUL: Afghan security forces have so far been unable to reach the crash site of a US military aircraft which went down during a mission on Monday in a Taliban-controlled area of the country.
An investigation is underway to determine what caused the Bombardier E-11A plane to crash in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, about 120 km southwest of Kabul, although the Taliban have claimed responsibility for shooting it down.

“The Taliban have mined the area, and security forces could not make it to the site to retrieve the bodies and recover the aircraft last evening. The Taliban had laid an ambush as security forces tried to reach the site,” Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni’s provincial council, told Arab News.
He added that other US aircraft had attempted to land in the area overnight but were forced back due to bad weather.
Aref Noori, a spokesman for Ghanzi’s governor, said: “Afghan and foreign forces are preparing a joint plan to go to the site to see what they can do.”
Authorities have yet to determine how many passengers and crew were on board.
Several members of the provincial council said they had heard from locals that four people on board the plane had escaped the site of the crash soon after it came down. However, the reports could not be confirmed by the US military or other officials.
The crash comes amid a push by the Taliban and US diplomats to restart peace talks which are aimed at ending the 18-year-old conflict in the country.