Three Indian nationals abducted by Taliban in Afghanistan last year to be released 

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 06, 2019, 07.54 PM(IST) Written By: Anas Mallick , Sidhant Sibal

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R) greets Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar (2L) upon his arrival with delegation at the Pakistan Foreign Ministry in Islamabad. Photograph:( AFP )

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A government source in Islamabad said the American side had asked the Taliban to release five foreigners in their custody which included three Indian engineers, one Australian and one American. 

Three Indian engineers abducted by the Taliban last year in Afghanistan are set to be released.

The engineers working at a power station were abducted in May of 2018. One of them was released earlier this year.

They were abducted in Bagh-e-Shamal village near the Pul-e-Khomri city which is the capital of northern Baghlan province in Afghanistan. 

The development comes days after US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad met Taliban in Pakistan. One of the demands of the American side was release of foreign prisoners in Taliban custody. 

A government source in Islamabad said the American side had asked the Taliban to release five foreigners in their custody which included three Indian engineers, one Australian and one American. 

The seven abducted Indians were working in Indian company KEC International headquartered in Mumbai. The company owns an electricity sub-station contract in the area. One Indian national was released and repatriated in March, 2019.

The Ministry of External Affairs in a release then said, "We are grateful to the Government of Afghanistan for their support in securing the release and repatriation of the Indian national."

"We continue to work closely with the Government of Afghanistan for the safe and early return of the remaining six Indian nationals," MEA added.

The fate of the remaining three engineers is not known.  

More than 60 Indians were working for KEC International in different projects across Afghanistan. This is not the first case of abduction of Indians in Afghanistan. In 2016, an Indian aid worker Judith D Souza was kidnapped by and was released after 40 days.