Pak Taliban links release of Chinese engineers with freedom of militants

September 8th, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban

Peshawar, Sep 8 (ANI): Maulana Fazlullah-led militants in Swat have said that they would not release the kidnapped Chinese engineers till the release of the arrested fellow Taliban.

The spokesman of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Muslim Khan, said 38 security forces personnel were in their captivity for more than a month but the government was least bothered about them.

Muslim Khan said first around 70 of their colleagues, currently in the government custody, would be swapped for the 38 captives and then they would discuss the release of the Chinese engineers and their Pakistani guard and driver.

Until the exchange of prisoners, the Chinese will be our guests. We have no intention to harm them, The News quoted Khan, as saying.

There are reports that the police had identified a person as kidnapper but missed an opportunity to arrest him after being summoned for interrogation.

However, a senior official of Dir Lower police was not ready to accept that the accused had given police the slip. It is now an open secret that they are in the custody of the Taliban, he remarked.

On the other hand, a highly placed police source said the officials had missed a golden chance to capture the accused.

The source, privy to all developments in the Chinese abduction case, even went to the extent of saying that the alleged kidnapper had confessed to the police to have abducted the engineers but said now he was no longer in their captivity.

He deceived the police, the source added, when he offered to contact the captors of the Chinese to ask them for their release.

Now police have been pressuring four other officials, Taimur, Irfan, Wahid and Rashid, of the Zong cellular company to make them confess in black and white that they knew the abductor.

The officials have been kept in habeas corpus since September 2 but the officials said they would not succumb to such pressure tactics. (ANI)

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