Taliban mentor dies in captivity in Pakistan

Sultan Amir Tarar, who was kidnapped last March, has died of a heart attack.

Updated: Jan 24, 2011, 15:46 PM IST

Islamabad: A senior government official says a former Pakistani spy who helped the Taliban rise to power in Afghanistan has died of a heart attack nearly a year after being kidnapped by militants.

Tariq Hayat, the top official in Pakistan`s northwest tribal region where Sultan Amir Tarar was kidnapped last March, said on Monday that authorities haven`t seen the body but have received confirmation of his death.

Hayat says militants are asking for more than USD 200,000 to return Tarar`s body.

Tarar — known as Colonel Imam — worked for Pakistan`s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency and cultivated close ties with the Taliban.

His kidnapping reflects the complexity of Pakistan`s tribal areas, where militants with alleged government ties and those fighting the state often coexist.

Bureau Report