Friday 30 April 2010

Former ISI officer murdered by captors

Former ISI officer Khalid Khwaja, kidnapped several weeks ago, along with Col. Imam - another former ISI officer - and British journalist Asad Qureshi, has been found dead, dumped alongside the Miramshah-Mirali road in North Waziristan. A note attached to his bullet-riddled body claimed responsibility for the killing in the name of the Asian Tigers - a previously unknown group thought to be members of the Punjabi Taliban.
The group had initially asked for the freedom of a number of Afghan Taliban leaders imprisoned in Pakistan plus a $10m ransom for Qureshi. After the Afghan Taliban repudiated them and mocked them for hiding behind a made-up name, they changed their demands, instead seeking the release of various Punjabi militants from prison.
In the end, religion or politics played little part in this tacky story. This was never much more than a criminal kidnapping aimed at making money. When no-one responded to the cowardly kidnappers' demands, they cynically murdered one of their hostages.
Update: More on the background to Khwaja's killing, suggesting that the Asian Tigers are a group of militants expelled from the Pakistan Taliban and TTP, can be found in this useful article in The News, written by Mushtaq Yusufzai.

No comments: