Missing ex-ISI officers in Fata
Punjabi Taliban behind kidnapping, says family
The News, April 22, 2010 - By Umar Cheema
ISLAMABAD: The mystery of the abduction in tribal areas of two pro-Taliban ISI veterans has virtually been solved as the wife of a kidnapped officer says the Punjabi Taliban were responsible and they invited them to the tribal areas.
One of the kidnapped ISI veterans, Khalid Khawaja, has previously acted as a conduit for Baitullah Mehsud for an intelligence agency. He once handed to late Baitullah a list of the Punjabi Taliban in the tribal belt who were disliked by the intelligence sleuths.
Khawaja, in a recently televised video sent by the captors, said he went to the tribal belt on the advice of former DG ISI, Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Gul, a serving ISI Col Sajjad, and former Army chief Aslam Beg. Col (retd) Imam in the same video said he undertook the tribal area visit on the advice of Gen (retd) Beg.
Retired PAF Squadron Leader Khalid Khawaja and Col (retd) Sultan Amir alias Col Imam were kidnapped along with a British documentary-maker of Pakistani origin, Asad Qureshi, in the tribal area where they went to film the ‘atrocities’ being committed on the Taliban of the Fata region.
According to an early press release issued by Khawaja’s family, they went there on the “precise invitation of the High Command of Tehrik-e-Taliban of North and South Waziristan as their respected guests for the purpose of making a documentary highlighting the present situation of the area and its impact on the indigenous population.” However, details gathered in background conversations present a totally different picture.
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