Pakistani Taliban issues video of ISI spy’s execution

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistani Taliban released a video Saturday of the shooting of a former officer of the country’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who was kidnapped from the northern tribal region.

A Taliban militant is shown in the video firing at former ISI officer, Col. (Retd.) Sultan Ameer Tarar - also known as Colonel Imam - in the presence of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, according to Xinhua.

Col. Imam was killed Jan 23 by the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan.

Imam and another former ISI official, Squadron Leader (Retd.) Khalid Khawaja, had gone to North Waziristan along with BBC journalist Asad Qureshi and his and driver Rustam Khan to make a documentary on the Pakistani Taliban and victims of US drone strikes, when they were kidnapped in March 2010.

Later, an unknown militant organisation, Asian Tigers, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and accused Khalid Khawaja of spying for the CIA. He was subsequently shot dead April 30 near Mir Ali town. Col. Imam was kept alive and held hostage all through until his execution Jan 23.

Some reports said the two were abducted by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, working in tandem with the Pakistani Taliban.

Qureshi and Khan were released several months later after his family reportedly paid ransom of Rs.30 million to his kidnappers, the Hakimullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Imam was widely respected by the Afghan Mujahideen and also by the Taliban due to his role during the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. He was often described as the “teacher” of Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

He had also served as Pakistan’s consul general in Afghanistan’s western Herat city.

Pakistan Human Rights Commission chief I.A. Rehman condemned the killing and described it as a brutal act.

The Taliban had earlier released a video of Khawaja in which he was heard admitting his links with the ISI and CIA and playing a double game with the Taliban.

Taliban sought Rs.50 million for the release of Imam but negotiations in this regard made no headway and he was killed.

Imam had served 11 years in the ISI out of 18 years in the armed forces, while Khwaja served for 22 years in the air force.

Filed under: Terrorism

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