Abducted Pak-origin British journalist freed by militants

A British journalist of Pakistani origin, who was abducted along with two former ISI officials by militants in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt, has been released, officials said on Thursday.

Islamabad: A British journalist of Pakistani
origin, who was abducted along with two former ISI officials
by militants in Pakistan`s restive tribal belt, has been
released, officials said on Thursday.

Journalist Asad Qureshi, his driver and former ISI
officials Khalid Khwaja and Colonel Imam alias Sultan Amir
Tarar were abducted in late March while travelling to North
Waziristan to make a film on militancy for Britain`s Channel
4.

Khwaja was killed by his abductors in April. His body was
found in the tribal belt with a note accusing him of being a
spy for the US.

Officials of the British High Commission and the local
administration in the tribal belt confirmed that Qureshi had
been released. Officials in the northwest also said Qureshi`s
driver was released with him.

"We can confirm Asad Qureshi has been released and our
consular team is providing him with consular assistance," said
George Sherriff, a spokesman for the British High Commission.
He did not give details.

The fate of Colonel Imam, who at one time had close links
with Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar, could not immediately
be ascertained.

Both Imam and Khwaja had close links with the Taliban and
other Islamists.

A hitherto unheard of group called the Asian Tigers had
claimed responsibility for the abduction and killing of
Khwaja.

Reports have said that the group comprises Punjabi
Taliban fighters.

PTI

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