President Ashraf Ghani has threatened to remove all government officials in Balkh if they fail to rescue the 9-year-old child named Abdul Rauf who was abducted in the province nearly three months ago.
Abdul Rauf’s father is in Kabul and his relatives said he has met with First Vice President Amrullah Saleh who has pledged to ensure the release of the child within the next 15 days.
“Thorough efforts are underway but the security agencies have found some clues that show progress in this respect,” said Ahmad Zia Worsaji, a media officer of the first vice president.
Relatives of the child held a rally in Kabul on Sunday and asked for more efforts for Rauf’s release.
“The president is himself following the kidnapping case of 9-year-old Abdul Rauf. The security agencies have been warned that they will be removed from their posts if the kidnappers are not sent to justice,” presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Minapal said.
“Threatening security officials three months after the kidnapping is obviously to convince the public, not for doing the job,” said Abdul Qayum Sajjadi, an MP.
Abdul Rauf’s relatives said that they will close the Hairatan port in the north of the country and will seek the Taliban’s help if the child is not rescued.
“They are also in contact with the Taliban and the Taliban has also arrested eight to 10 people,” Balkh governor Farhad Azimi said.
“If the government does not follow through on its pledge, the government will be responsible for any reaction by the people and the elders,” said Asadullah, a relative of the child.
Meanwhile, a number of Herat residents and lawmakers said they are worried about kidnappings and insecurity in the province.
Herat police said that 18 people have been kidnapped over the last 10 months. Five of them have been rescued by police, 10 of them were released after ransoms were paid and three are still in custody.