– THE ABDUCTED PAKISTANI GUEST
Despite the new truce deal between Islamic militants and the Pakistani government, a government administrator in Pakistan’s troubled Swat valley has been abducted, on Sunday 02/22/2009, by gunmen, officials say.
Kushal Khan was seized by “miscreants” on his way to Mingora, Swat’s main town, local commissioner Syed Mohammad Jawed told Reuters news agency.
But Taliban sources are quoted as saying Kushal Khan was a “guest” of the group and would be released soon. Taliban rebels have been taking part in negotiations with the government over a permanent ceasefire in Swat.
More than 1,000 people have been killed and many more have fled the valley since violence intensified in 2007.
Following the administrator’s disappearance a Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan, in Swat District told Reuters: “He is our guest. We have to discuss some issues with him. We will serve him with tea and then free him.”
Last week the government and the rebels announced a 10-day ceasefire in the area. On Saturday 02/21/2009, the Taliban said they would announce in the coming days whether it should be made permanent (see – Swat Truce II).
Muslim Khan told the BBC the rebels were reviewing government progress on the implementation of Shariaa law in Swat. The Taliban control the entire countryside of Swat, limiting army control merely to parts of Mingora town (see – Mingora Schools). Kushal Khan was released, eventually, after few hours.
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02/2008 -PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR MISSING
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