Yet again, an Afghan Army official has gone missing from a Defence establishment in Pune. This time it is from the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC). The police have identified the missing foreign national as Sergeant Ahmed Khalid Zaki of Afghanistan. Zaiki, who joined AFMC for a course, went missing on January 28. The AFMC registered a missing report with the Wanawadi police station the same day. Later, the AFMC found out from the Embassy of Afghanistan that Zaki reached Kabul. Agencies investigating the cases related to foreign nationals are now probing why Zaki left without informing the AFMC authorities and which route he took to reach Afghanistan.
Colonel Abhijit Rudra, public relation officer (PRO) of AFMC, said in a statement, “We have received confirmation from Defence Attache, Embassy of Afghanistan, New Delhi, that Sgt Ahmad Khalid Zaki has reached Kabul. He had come to AFMC, Pune, on January 16 to attend an X-ray assistant course. He went missing from AFMC on January 28, and all authorities concerned were informed in accordance with the existing guidelines.”
Police said Zaki was an Army officer from Afghanistan and had come to India on a diplomatic visa. Police suspect that Zaki also had a multiple entry visa, which he may have used to leave India. However, it is not confirmed whether he reached Kabul by legal or illegal route.
Sanjay Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police of Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO) of Pune city police said, “We have been informed about the missing case of Afghan national Sgt Zaki. We have accordingly informed the agencies concerned about this case.”
Police officials said foreign nationals coming on diplomatic visa were given special exception as per which they were not bound to inform the local police about their arrival and departure. Hence, Zaki’s details were not registered with the FRO of the Pune city police. The police are, however, worried as the possibility of some foreign nationals, particularly those visiting army establishments, misusing these exceptions cannot be ruled out.
Earlier, an army officer, also from Afghanistan, who was undergoing training at the College of Military Engineering (CME) in Pune, went missing in February 2014. Identified as Captain Adil Shah (34), he had come to CME in December 2013. The spokesperson of CME had told The Indian Express that he was undergoing training to be an instructor for the Afghanistan Army. “He went missing in February 2014. We had then communicated to the Pune police. Again in June, we wrote to the police to seek details of the progress in this case. But till now, we have not received any information about him,” the spokesperson said.
A missing report was registered in this case with the Bhosari police station. Despite several attempts, neither the police nor the intelligence agencies have been able to trace his location. Sources said he came to India on a diplomatic visa. So his details too were registered at the FRO, Pune. Investigation agencies communicated the details to all international airports in the country. But there was no record of him leaving the country via any of these airports. The investigators suspect that he is still in India or may have left the country by secret routes.