Islamabad, May 12, A Pakistani team will soon be visiting Nepal to probe the disappearance of a former Pakistan army officer who was last seen in Lumbini in April, and whose family alleges he has been abducted by Indian intelligence agencies, a media report said.
Col (Retd) Habib Zahir was allegedly kidnapped by Indian intelligence agencies from an area bordering Nepal and India after he was invited to the country in connection with a job opportunity, The Nation reported.
According to sources, a team comprising government officials from the Ministry of Interior will proceed to Nepal to examine the facts first-hand, take the statement of Javed Ansari, the host and airline officials/hotel management to assess as to who arranged his bookings and the like.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Interior Ministry to nominate a team in this regard, official sources told The Nation. "The composition of the special team - so as to forward the same to the concerned authorities of Nepal - is under consideration," they added.
Muhammad Habib Zahir disappeared from Lumbini near Nepal's border with India. The Government of Pakistan had approached the Nepalese government for mutual legal assistance and arrangement for the visit of the team from Pakistan to Nepal.
The team will seek any other information from fellow passengers or any other person concerned and also take statements of the police officer in-charge of the city/town from where the Pakistani went missing. The team will also ascertain the frequency of movements across the border with India. It is likely that a team from National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) would be constituted to visit Nepal, the daily said.
Zahir had arrived in Nepal to reportedly face an interview for a United Nations job.
According to reports, Zahir arrived in Nepal via an Air Arabia flight (Call Sign WY 344), with the passport no. AJ5122964, for a UN job interview in Nepal. According to the reports, Zahir had retired as Colonel in 2014 and Mark Thomson had called him to Lumbini based on his personal details posted by him on a website.
There had been a correspondence between the two. Thomson had called him to Nepal to face interview and had himself sent an air ticket for him.
India is believed to have entrapped and kidnapped Zahir from Kathmandu to make it a case of having apprehended an "ISI spy" and equate it with the case of Indian "spy" Kulbhushan Jadhav, the Nation said. --IANS