The Afghan intelligence chief Ahmad Zia Saraj on Saturday blamed “Daesh and other terrorist groups” for the kidnapping of Abdul Rauf, a nine-year-old child who was abducted in the northern province of Balkh four months ago.
Addressing a press briefing in Kabul on Saturday, the NDS chief said that 55 suspects have been arrested in with the kidnapping, reiterating that security forces are close to finding the place where the child is kept.
“Overall, there are 55 suspects who are nationals of Uzbekistan and from Tajikistan. Most of the arrests were made in Balkh and it continues,” Saraj said.
Abdul Rauf was abducted four and a half months ago in Balkh province. Since then, his parents and relatives have always protested. At some stage, President Ashraf Ghani threatened to fire security officials in Balkh if the child is not rescued, but no progress has been made in this respect so far.
Rauf’s father Mohammad Nabi said he has received a new video of his son from kidnappers, giving him a new deadline of five days to pay the ransom.
“The kidnappers warned to cut my child into pieces. My blood pressure went high, and I fell down,” he said.
Rauf’s father said the kidnappers have asked for $1.2 million as ransom and has given him a five-day deadline otherwise they will increase the ransom to $2.2 million.
“If they don’t do mercy on us as parents, they should be afraid of God and do mercy on an innocent child,” said Zohra, Abdul Rauf’s mother.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission called on the Afghan government to mobilize all its resources for a safe recovery of the abductee.
People across the country also criticized the government for failing to rescue the child in the past four months.
Abdul Rauf’s family and relatives have been protesting for the release of the child in front of office of Balkh governor for the past three months.
The protestors have called on the president to deliver on his promises about the release of the child.