Kidnappers release video of former ISI officers Bureau Report
Dawn, 19 Apr, 2010
PESHAWAR: A little known militant group acknowledged on Monday that it was holding two former ISI officers, Colonel (retd) Imam (Sultan Amir) and Squadron Leader (retd) Khalid Khwaja and threatened to execute them if its demands were not met within 10 days.
An email sent along with the video footage demanded the release of senior Taliban leader Mullah Baradar, Mullah Mansoor Dadullah and Maulavi Kabir.
The group calling itself Asian Tigers, an unusual name for a militant group in Pakistan, is also reported to have demanded a $10 million ransom for journalist Asad Qureshi who also has been missing along with the two retired ISI officers.
In the video clip, Col (retd) Imam is heard saying that his real name is Sultan Amir (Tarar) and he served in the Pakistan Army for 18 years, 11 of them in the Inter Services Intelligence.
“I had consulted with Gen Aslam Beg (former army chief) about coming here,” Col Imam said.
Squadron Leader (retd) Khalid Khwaja said he had served in Pakistan Air Force for 18 years and in the ISI for two years.
“I came here on the prodding of Gen Hameed Gul, Gen Aslam Beg and ISI’s Col Sajjad,” Khalid Khwaja was heard as saying in the video.
Both held a copy of a Peshawar-based Urdu newspaper while recording their statement before the camera.
In the video, the group called itself “Asian Tigers” and said the hostages would be killed if its demands were not met within 10 days.
The group said (exact words taken from email in English): “Khalid Khwaja and Col Imam in Taliban custody. Both ISI persons are enemy of Islam and Muslims. We demand released all Taliban leaders, Mullah Brother (Baradar), Mullah Mansoor Dadullah and Mullah Kabir. We will send list of other mujahideen within a few days. Ten days time, if government not released mujahideen, then we will kill ISI officers or other decision.”
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