November 13, 2000

Pakistani Taliban abducts Iranian diplomat in Peshawar

By: David Donadio

It’s these sorts of things that make you wonder what the situation in South Asia would look like if we hadn’t squandered so many opportunities for cooperation since September 11th:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Gunmen abducted an Iranian diplomat in Peshawar on Thursday, a day after a U.S. aid worker was shot dead in the city on the front line of an Islamist insurgency sweeping northwest Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan.

Suspicion for the kidnapping will inevitably fall on the Taliban and affiliated Sunni Muslim militant groups such as al Qaeda, who hate Shi’ite Muslims and predominantly Shi’ite Iran almost as much as they hate the West. . . . .

The Iranian Foreign Ministry confirmed that its Peshawar consulate’s commercial attache Heshmatollah Attarzadeh Niyaki had been kidnapped. A policeman assigned to guard him was shot and killed trying to resist the assailants, police said.