[JURIST] An Afghan government official said Monday that Afghan security forces have arrested three young Pakistani men on charges of planning to assassinate US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad [Wikipedia profile]. The men were arrested Saturday in the province of Laghman, a day before a scheduled trip by Khalilzad to the area. A spokesman for the US Embassy in Kabul [official website] expressed US gratitude for the Afghan help in protecting its diplomats but would not comment further. Khalilzad has been a vocal opponent of Pakistan's alleged status as a safe-haven for Islamic militants in recent days, a position which may have led to the assassination plot. Last week Khalilzad was also confirmed by the US Senate as the next US ambassador to Iraq [AFP report], taking over from John Negroponte, who has been named the new US Director of Intelligence. Reuters has more.