A group of armed men dressed in Frontier Corps uniform kidnapped Balochistan Assembly member and leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Malik Sultan Tareen in the Bostan area of Pishin district on Tuesday.
The abductors intercepted Tareen’s vehicle and held him, his guard and driver at gunpoint before driving away in the vehicle. Minutes into their getaway, they set his guard and driver free before escaping to an undisclosed location with the MPA.
Deputy Commissioner Pishin Hashim Gilzai confirmed the incident, saying that “Malik Sultan Tareen was heading towards his native town of Harnai in his official vehicle from Quetta when armed men intercepted him at Ziarat cross of Kuchlak. The kidnappers have probably taken away the minister,” he told The Express Tribune. Gilzai said a case had been registered against a person whose identity he would not disclose. “The brother of the minister, Malik Sher Mohammad Tareen, filed an application to register the case,” he added.
Quoting Sher Mohammad, the deputy commissioner said that the same person against whom the case has been filed made two failed attempts to kidnap Tareen. “We are going to arrest him and interrogate him in order to clear the situation,” he stated.
Sher Mohammad claimed that he was unable to understand who would kidnap Tareen. “We have no enmity with anybody. Rather we are the followers of Bacha Khan and his policy of non-violence.”
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Head Constable of Police Control Line Syed Muhammad said that according to Tareen’s guard, they left Quetta at 6:30pm in a car bearing the number plate AFQ-479 and at 7:30pm they reached Kili Mirza Khan Bazai of Bostan District, when approximately 20 to 25 unidentified men in FC uniforms intercepted them. The guard then went back to Sher Mohammad’s residence after being released to inform him about the incident.
ANP’s Balochistan chapter President Aurangzaib Kansi criticised the provincial government for its failure to protect the Baloch people. He said ANP workers were being targeted for a reason and the governor’s rule was not improving the situation either.
Central ANP leader Senator Haji Adeel claimed that the kidnappers brought Tareen to Quetta and were demanding Rs500 million as ransom.
But Kansi stated that there had been no such demands yet. Dozens of ANP activists took to the streets of Harnai to protest the kidnapping and demanded his immediate release.
However, provincial Home Secretary Captain (retd) Akbar Hussain Durrani revealed the identity of the person against whom the case has been registered. Tareen’s relatives nominated Wakeel Kayal in the case. Kayal is a resident of the Sharag area in Harnai.
“A committee headed by commissioner Quetta has been formed for the recovery of Tareen and where his relatives would suggest, raids would be carried out,” Durrani added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2013.