ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Sunday said two of its diplomats from its consulate office in the Afghan city of Jalalabad were missing since Friday while returning to their home country by road.

“Two officials of our Consulate General Jalalabad are missing since June 16, 2017 while commuting to Pakistan by road,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.

The Foreign Office refrained from guessing-game as to who may be behind the disappearances but historically various Afghanistan-based groups have targeted diplomats in the past as well.

According to a statement by the foreign ministry, the matter has been raised with the relevant Afghan authorities for their safety and recovery at the earliest.

‘The Afghan authorities have informed that all efforts were in hand to probe the incident and three distinct investigating groups have been constituted to ensure safe recovery of the officials’ it said.

“Pakistan has requested the Afghan government that all efforts may be made to ensure early recovery of our officials and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. We are in constant touch with the Afghan authorities,” the statement added.

The Jalalabad city is a busy trading hub about 70 kilometers from the main border crossing with Pakistan, serving as lifeline of Afghan import industry and the disappearance of Pakistani diplomats can further roughen the already frayed relations between the Muslim countries sporadically accusing each other of harboring terrorism.