Pakistan Army's retired officer goes missing near Nepal-India border; possible case of abduction

A retired Pakistan Army officer has gone missing for three days near the Nepal-India border, while visiting a Nepalese town for a job interview. The ex-officer, identified as Lt Col (Rtd) Mohammad Habib, has been untraceable since Thursday from Lumbini in Nepal.

The developments in his case were brought to the fore following Pakistani military court's decision to sentence Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national, to death on Monday.

According to a report in The Dawn, Habib had last contacted his family on Thursday afternoon and since then his phone numbers have not been reachable. Habib's family had reported his disappearance to the Foreign Office after not having been able to reach him.

Pakistan Army. Representational image. News18

Representational image. News18

Foreign Office spokesman Mohammed Nafees Zakari said that the ministry 'has asked authorities in Nepal to look into the disappearance of Habib.'

The story about the disappearance of the former military officer first surfaced in WhatsApp groups of retired military officers and was subsequently picked up by the media.

Habib, who retired in October 2014, was currently employed with a private firm in Pakistan and had posted his resume online in search of employment. He was reportedly offered a job at United Nations in Lumbini and someone by the name of Mark Thompson had contacted him, both via email and telephone. He was also provided an air ticket, the report said.

Hindustan Times report said that as per the Pakistani embassy, Habib had applied for the job via a website. After he went missing, the website and twitter handle of the recruitment website were suspended and the mobile number shared with him was discovered to be fake, the embassy said.

He departed from Lahore on Wednesday and reached Kathmandu on Thursday, from where he immediately flew to Lumbini.

In Kathmandu, the information coming from retired army officers groups and verified by military sources revealed that he was provided a Nepalese cellphone sim card by one Javed Ansari, who received him there, the Dawn report added.

The last message that he sent from Lumbini said that he had reached his destination.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Apr 11, 2017 13:12 PM

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