Kidnapped ex-ISI official found shot dead in north-west Pak

A former ISI officer abducted last month by militants was found shot dead on Friday in the volatile North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan, with his killers leaving a note on his body accusing him of being an American spy.

Peshawar: A former ISI officer abducted last
month by militants was found shot dead on Friday in the volatile
North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan, with his killers
leaving a note on his body accusing him of being an American
spy.

Khalid Khwaja, who headed the NGO Defence of Human
Rights, was kidnapped on March 26 with former ISI official
Sultan Amir Tarar alias Colonel Imam and Asad Qureshi, a
British journalist of Pakistani origin.
The trio were travelling to the tribal belt ostensibly to
make a documentary.

Khwaja`s body was found at Karamkote on the road between
Miranshah and Mirali, the two main towns in North Waziristan
Agency which borders Afghanistan. There was no word on the
fate of Colonel Imam and Qureshi.

The Asian Tigers, a hitherto unheard of militant group
that had earlier said it was holding the three men, claimed
responsibility for killing Khwaja. TV channels beamed a photo
of Khwaja`s body.

He was shot in the head and chest and a note attached to
his body accused him of being an American spy, the channels
reported.

The Asian Tigers had released two videos featuring the
kidnapped men to the media.

The group had also demanded the release of three top
Afghan Taliban commanders, including Mullah Abdul Ghani
Baradar, in exchange for the two former ISI officers.
Khwaja was known to be sympathetic to radical and
militant groups.

He recently filed several petitions in the Lahore High
Court, asking it to direct the government not to extradite top
Afghan Taliban commanders and five American Muslim youths
arrested for alleged terror links.

In Lahore, Khwaja`s wife Shamama told PTI that she had no
regrets about the death of her husband.

She said Khwaja had "embraced martyrdom".

Khwaja`s family has blamed a group of Punjabi Taliban
militants led by Usman Punjabi for the abduction of the two
former ISI officials and the journalist.

They also claimed that Usman Punjabi was linked to the
banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Some reports said the abductors of Khwaja were linked to
militants associated with the radical Lal Masjid in Islamabad.

About 100 people were killed when the Pakistan Army
conducted an operation in July 2007 to flush out militants who
were holed up in the Lal Masjid.

PTI