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Two Pakistani Officials Missing In Afghanistan


FILE: The Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Two officials from Pakistan's consulate in eastern Afghanistan have gone missing during a road trip, Pakistan said on June 18.

"Two officials of our Jalalabad Consulate-General are missing since June 16 while commuting to Pakistan by road," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

"The matter has been raised with the relevant Afghan authorities, who have informed that all efforts were in hand to probe the incident."

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria told RFE/RL on June 18 that Islamabad is "in touch with Kabul" to locate the missing officials.

Zakaria did not disclose the names of the officials and did not give further details.

Attaullah Khogiani, a spokesman for Nangarhar Province, told RFE/RL that local authorities have launched a search operation in the areas along the Jalalabad-Torkham road.

It is unclear whether the officials were kidnapped.

However, Islamic State and Taliban militants are active in different areas of Nangarhar, which borders the Khyber tribal district in northwest Pakistan.

Relations between the neighbors have soured over claims that Pakistan secretly supports insurgents trying to topple the Afghan government.

Afghan officials frequently accuse Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and providing sanctuary for the guerrillas on its soil in hopes of maintaining influence in Afghanistan.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until the militia was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

It has battled the Kabul government and its foreign allies ever since.

With additional reporting by Tolo news and AFP

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