Najibullah’s Family in India, Government Says
NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ The government said today that the wife and daughters of ousted Afghan President Najibullah were in India, but refused to disclose their whereabouts or say whether they were under government protection.
However, Foreign Office spokesman Aftab Seth said the Afghan ambassador to India, who is Najibullah’s brother-in-law, was under government protection. That followed reports that Najibullah’s family had fled with the ambassador and his family, with whom they had been living.
Najibullah, who was ousted Thursday, was believed to be in hiding in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Seth denied reports that Najibullah had visited the Indian Embassy in Kabul on Thursday and sought asylum.
Seth also said the United Nations had not sought India’s help in providing safe passage out of Afghanistan for Najibullah, and he denied a published report that Indian authorities had planned to fly Najibullah out of Kabul on Wednesday.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to India, Ahmed Sarwar, fled his embassy residence before dawn today, accompanied by his family and the wife and three daughters of Najibullah, said Mohammed Kamel, a first secretary in the embassy.
Seth said Sarwar was provided with protection after he sought help, apparently following threats from some embassy staff, but did not seek asylum.
The spokesman said Sarwar was still being recognized as the ambassador, even though Counsellor Ziauddin Nassery claimed he had assumed charge of the mission.
Earlier, a caller to The Associated Press in New Delhi identified himself as Sarwar and said he had asked for protection from the Indian government. It could not be confirmed that the caller was in fact Sarwar.
The caller denied Najibullah’s family was with him.