KABUL: Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Mohaqiq on Friday confirmed contact between government officials and representatives of the Taliban and another group for the release of kidnapped passengers.
Unidentified gunmen kidnapped 31 people, who were on their way from Herat province to the capital Kabul, in the Shah Joi district of southern Zabul province on February 23.
Subsequently, Afghan security forces conducted a search operation and killed and killed a number of militants, but there has been no clue to the kidnapped individuals, The Taliban rebels have denied having hand in the incident.
Addressing a gathering that marked the 20th death anniversary of Hezb-i-Wahdat leader Abdul Ali Mazari, Mohaqiq said the kidnapped people were innocent civilians.
Relatives of the victims urged him at a recent meeting to play an effective role in securing their release. “They have blamed me for not raising my voice for these kidnapped individuals…”
The deputy CEO said he had informally sent a delegation to Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province.
He added the group, to which the kidnappers were linked, had been told that innocent people had been seized. “Another Karachi-based extremist group has also been contacted. (PAN)