ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani citizen, Dr Abuzar Muhammad Afzal, who was kidnapped in Nigeria on March 28 along with other people, was safely recovered on Sunday.
The government of Pakistan conveyed deep appreciation to the Nigerian officials for helping to secure safe release of Afzal.
He was among the passengers taken hostage in an attack on Abuja-Kaduna train on March 28. Afzal was the only foreigner among seven hostages freed last night. Thirteen other hostages had been released a month ago.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tweeted that he was “highly relieved by the safe release of the Pakistani national, Abuzar M Afzal, kidnapped in Nigeria since March.”
He thanked the leadership, government and people of Nigeria for all their help, besides commending the efforts of everyone in Pakistan who worked tirelessly to ensure this outcome.
Following his release, Afzal, in a video message from Kaduna City, thanked the governments of Pakistan and Nigeria, the negotiator and his employer who contributed to the efforts for his freedom.
He also thanked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the foreign minister, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar for consistent endeavours to ensure his well-being and safe release.
Afzal reached Abuja where the Pakistani High Commission provided emergency travel documents to him to facilitate his journey to the country.