Kidnapped ex-ISI official with close Taliban link dies

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 00:22

Peshawar: Authorities in the troubled
Waziristan tribal region of northwest Pakistan have confirmed
that a former ISI official who had close links with Afghan
Taliban chief Mullah Omar and was kidnapped about 10 months
ago, has died of a heart attack, a senior official said on Monday.

Tariq Hayat, the Security Secretary for the
semi-autonomous tribal areas, told PTI that political
authorities in both North and South Waziristan tribal agencies
had confirmed from their sources that Sultan Amir Tarar,
better known as Colonel Imam, had died of a heart attack in
the custody of his captors.

Colonel Imam`s body has not yet been recovered as the
abductors were demanding a huge ransom for it, other sources
said. Intelligence officials posted in North and South
Waziristan too had reported that Colonel Imam had died of a
heart attack, the sources said.

Reports from the tribal region yesterday said
Colonel Imam had been killed by militants.

He was kidnapped along with former ISI official
Khalid Khwaja, British journalist Asad Qureshi and his driver
in the tribal belt on March 26 last year.

They were travelling to Waziristan, where Qureshi
intended to work on a documentary film on the Taliban.

Khwaja was shot dead on April 30 last year by the
kidnappers, who accused him of working for the Pakistani
security establishment and the US.

The Asian Tigers, a hitherto unheard of group, had
claimed responsibility for kidnapping the four men.

Qureshi and his driver were released in September
last year apparently after the journalist`s family paid a
hefty ransom.

The kidnappers had released several videos in which
Colonel Imam called on authorities to take steps for his
release.

At one time, Colonel Imam had close links with Aghan
Taliban chief Mullah Omar and several Afghan militant
commanders and tribal elders were reportedly involved in
negotiations for his release.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 00:22

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