Traders give govt 48 hours for boy’s recovery
KABUL (Pajhwok): Dozens of traders on Sunday protested against the abduction of a businessman’s son, warning of closing shops of food items in Kabul if the child was not recovered in 48 hours.
Khan Jan Alokozai, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) deputy head, told a press conference Wahdatullah, son of Haji Mohammad Asif, chairman of food traders’ union, was abducted by five people in NDS uniforms from district.
The kidnappers, posing as intelligence agents, said they wanted to take the boy for questionings to the 97th department of NDS. He said some of the people who tried to rescue Wahdatullah were beaten.
The traders fixed a 48 hours deadline for the government to find and release the boy, otherwise they would close their shops and will stop importing food items, the ACCI official said.
“We realise the problems of our people, to whom we apologise for this decision because we have no other option. We have to make the government realise its duty and ensure our security or find food for the citizens,” he remarked.
By using government facilities, weapons and vehicles, some elements have been kidnapping traders and loot their assets, he added. The people should know why the government did not prevent such activities, he continued.
“An NDS official told me yesterday that a person has been arrested on the charge of kidnapping a trader, but he was freed by a member of parliament after an hour,” he said, adding the businessmen were not threatening by the Taliban. Their enemies were within the government, Alokozai alleged.
Over the past two months, 38 traders were kidnapped and one of them was killed.
The food traders’ union head in north, Humayoon Khwaja and deputy chairman of ACCI in the southern zone, Younus Momand, also voiced their support for the decision, They promised they would continue their protest if the boy was not release.
Mohammad Asif, the captive’s father, said he did not know why his boy had been kidnapped. He asked the president and the CEO to find his son whether he was with the NDS or somewhere else.
He urged the government to pay due attention to the safety of traders and avoid forcing them to leave the country.
A day earlier, nearly 100 traders gathered in the Bagh-i-Qazi area of Kabul and closed their shops in protest.
Wahdatullah was kidnapped by five men in NDS uniforms on Saturday from Bagrami district, businessman Attaullah Rahman told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The kidnappers beat his brother then abducted him from the area when the police checkpoint was also available, he said adding the security personnel have so far taken any action against the abductors.
In a resolution, the traders set a 48 hours deadline for the security personnel to secure the release of Wahdatullah; otherwise they would close their shops in Kabul. They also asked the security personnel to take necessary steps to ensure safety for traders.
Similarly, dozens of people on Saturday protested against the abduction and closed a road to the city from 3:30pm to 8pm. A search for Wahdatullah has been mounted, the police headquarters and NDS said.
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