Pak swapped two dreaded Taliban militants for its envoy Azizuddins release

May 28th, 2008 - 1:14 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad , May 28 (ANI): To secure the safe release of Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Tariq Azizuddin and 35 Army officials, the Pakistan government had released two dreaded Taliban militants - Mullah Obaidullah Akhund and Mullah Mansoor Dadullah around two weeks back, besides hundreds of other militants.

Despite Pakistan governments denial of their release, the two Taliban are learnt to have reached Afghanistan , The News quoted reliable sources as saying.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior, Rehman Malik denied any such prisoner swap between the Taliban and the Government of Pakistan, saying that not a single prisoner was released in return to the release of Ambassador Tariq Azizuddin.

You know the PPP government is against dialogue with terrorists or law violators. We would take all necessary actions to restore the writ of the government in the tribal areas and FATA is the focus of my ministry. The government has taken steps to bring law and order in the tribal areas and with the help of the tribal elders, we have convened Jirgas to maintain law and order in the area. We have succeeded in opening the DIK-Wana Road , the Sadda-Parachinar Road . I am hopeful that Hangu road would also be opened in a day or two and the life would return to normal in the area, the paper quoted him as saying.

Evading a question if the two Taliban militants were Pakistan s captivity, Malik said he was not aware of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah. He reiterated no prisoner was exchanged with the Taliban and not a single militant was released by Pakistan .

Contrary to Maliks statement, an eminent Jihadi leader from Afghanistan confirmed the Talibans release, saying that both the militant leaders had reached their homeland around two weeks back. “The release of both the Taliban commanders was part of a ‘package swap deal’ between the Pakistani authorities and the Taliban under which 35 Army personnel were also released besides Pakistani ambassador and his staff,” they said adding that the Pakistani government did not want to release both the Taliban commanders but it had to do so under immense pressure from the Taliban.

The sources said that the enormous pressure built up by the Taliban made the impossible possible and both the militant leaders were released. “Under a strategy, the government authorities had also arrested around 300 transporters belonging to the Mehsud tribe to pressurise Baitullah Mehsud. But the trick did not work and finally the government had to release all the detainees,” added the sources.

Tariq, the Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan , was kidnapped three months ago by the Taliban militants, as he traveled into the Pakistani tribal areas. He was released on May 15. Both the militant leaders, most wanted by NATO command, were captured by Pakistani authorities in separate operations. (ANI)

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