Release of 28 militants in exchange for 213 soldiers will haunt Pak Govt. for long

November 14th, 2007 - 10:14 am ICT by admin  
“Much to the embarrassment of the government, the exchange of prisoners took place at a time when emergency had been declared and President General Pervez Musharraf in his address to the nation was arguing that some judges of the Supreme Court had released 61 ‘terrorists’ and thus weakened the ongoing war against terrorism,” The News said in its analysis.

The President had himself admitted that some of the freed ‘terrorists’ could be involved in the recent suicide bombings in Rawalpindi, Sargodha and elsewhere.

The prisoners’ swap could have been held earlier if the two sides had shown some flexibility, but it happened at a time when emergency had just been imposed in the country, the daily opined.

The freed militants included Suhail Zeb, a cousin of Baitullah Mahsud who was convicted by an anti-terrorism court and sentenced to 24-year imprisonment and three other men arrested along with Zeb from a bungalow in Dera Ismail Khan city were also convicted and given the same sentence. They were found in possession of suicide jackets.

Others who were freed by the government were also reported to be facing serious charges.

According to reports emanating from South Waziristan, followers of Mahsud are describing the release of their 28 men as a “big achievement”.

The 213 Pakistan Army soldiers who were freed by the militants included six officers. Among them was a colonel who commanded the soldiers in the military convoy who surrendered to the militants in South Waziristan on August 30. (ANI)

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