NATO launches air surveillance to trace Pak boys

To help trace 30 boys abducted by militants from Pakistan`s Bajaur tribal region, NATO alliance troops have launched an aerial surveillance of Taliban sanctuaries in border areas of Afghanistan.

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2011, 13:36 PM IST

Islamabad: To help trace 30 boys abducted by
militants from Pakistan`s Bajaur tribal region, NATO alliance troops have launched an aerial surveillance of Taliban sanctuaries in border areas of Afghanistan.

The NATO-US surveillance was launched after a Pakistani
Taliban leader released a video footage of kidnapped boys.

International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) chief Gen
John Allen, who made his first visit to Pakistan last week
after taking over command of the coalition forces in
Afghanistan, informed Pakistani military leaders that NATO had
started surveillance of Pakistani Taliban sanctuaries in
Afghanistan`s eastern Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

Allen hinted at air strikes being part of the aerial surge, depending on actionable intelligence gathered by his forces, sources said.
The Afghan government has sought the help of tribal elders to help secure the release of the boys.

Pakistani authorities claimed the boys were taken away by
the Taliban after mistakenly crossing into Afghanistan while
on an Eid outing in Bajaur Agency on September 1.

However, a Taliban spokespersons and one of the boys, Abdul Hanan, confirmed to Afghan media that they were kidnapped by the militants from Bajaur Agency.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan deputy chief Maulvi Faqir
Mohammad, now leading his fighters in Kunar, promised to
resolve the issue of the abducted boys in line with tribal
traditions but is yet to play any role in the matter.

The delay in the release of the boys has raised concern
among their parents, who mostly belong to the Mamond tribe
that has been accused by the Taliban of backing the Pakistan
government.

PTI