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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pakistani Ambassdor Attacked in Tehran

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office summoned a senior Iranian diplomat on Tuesday over the recent attack on the Pakistani ambassador in Tehran.

An Afghan national attacked M.B. Abbasi with a knife when he came out of his car in Tehran. Mr Abbasi fell down and suffered an injury.

According to a source, Iranian Deputy Chief of Mission Masoud Nili was asked by the Foreign Office to apprise the government of progress in investigations into the attack.

The summoning of the diplomat came amid reports that Iran is covering up the case and is reluctant to share information with Pakistan.

The Iranian foreign ministry has claimed that the attacker was unarmed. The Foreign Office, the source said, had proposed a joint investigation into the attack.

When contacted Mr Masoud Nili confirmed that he had gone to the Foreign Office, but said the meeting was a routine interaction for “following up on the issue”.

He said that a report on the attack would be shared with the Foreign Office in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, the injured ambassador in a statement from Tehran accused “elements opposed to improvement in Pakistan-Iran relations” of carrying out the attack. He said it was a deep-rooted conspiracy to derail improvement in relations.

Pakistan embassy’s press counsellor M.M. Jaffery said: “Mr Abbasi is highly respected in Iran and is considered as a key person behind improvement in Iran-Pakistan relations as he addressed some of the contentious bilateral issues.

Therefore, the motives of a third-party grievance against the ambassador need to be investigated.”

The Pakistan Embassy started its own investigations and its senior officials visited the place of the incident.

Guards of the Kashtirani club, close to the place where the attack took place, informed the head of chancery that they had come out of the club after hearing commotion and found the ambassador lying in the street in an injured condition.

They said the assailant had also attacked one of the guards with the same knife when the latter tried to capture him.

But other guards overpowered him.

From here.

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