Col Imam executed?

Published: January 24, 2011
Officials refuse to confirm or deny the slaying of former ISI official.

Officials refuse to confirm or deny the slaying of former ISI official.


A former officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Sultan Amir Tarar, better known as Colonel Imam, has reportedly been killed by the Taliban on Sunday.

Though there is no official confirmation of his death, sources close to his family say they were informed about Col Imam’s killing by intelligence sources.

Col Imam, along with another former ISI official Squadron Leader (retd) Khawaja Khalid and British journalist Asad Qureshi, was seized by a lesser known Taliban group, Asian Tigers, while travelling to the North Waziristan tribal region on March 26, 2010.

Qureshi was released in September after paying a ransom of Rs20 million, while Khawaja was executed by his captors.

Gen (retd) Hameed Gul, a former ISI chief and a colleague of Col Imam, told the media that the kidnappers wanted to swap the two former spies with the terrorists who were arrested in connection with two high-profile terrorist hits in Rawalpindi.

Gul said the US and its private security firm Blackwater Xe could be involved in Col Imam’s abduction. However, he voiced doubt over the news of his killing. “I think it is a drama. The situation will become clear in the next couple of days,” he added.

Col Imam was reportedly killed by his captors and the body was dumped in the Dandi Darpakhel area, close to Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.

Nonetheless, local residents said they have not seen the body.

A senior security official in Peshawar also refused to confirm the slaying. “We also have reports of his death, but we cannot confirm it,” the official told The Express Tribune.

Another Peshawar-based intelligence official also refused to confirm the report.  “The Dandi Darpakhel area is adjacent to government quarters in the region dotted with security checkpoints. If there was any such thing, it would have been in our knowledge,” he added.

However, a relative of Col Imam told the media that intelligence sources had informed them about the incident.

Col Imam and Khawaja said in a video message released by the Taliban a month after their abduction that they were sent to Afghanistan by former army chief Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and former ISI chief Gen (retd) Hameed Gul.

The abductors had initially demanded the release of two arrested Taliban leaders – Mullah Kabir and Mullah Mansoor Dadullah – in exchange for the freedom of the two former ISI officials. The demand was made in an email sent to several Pakistani media outlets.

But later they added more demands and called for the release of those terrorists who were in custody of Pakistan’s security agencies in connection with attacks on the GHQ and Parade Line Mosque of Rawalpindi.

According to reports, Mullah Omar, the reclusive Taliban mentor, himself had campaigned for the release of Col Imam. It was due to Mullah Omar’s intervention that the Taliban did not kill Col Imam for several months, a source close to the Taliban told The Express Tribune.

The source also claimed that Col Imam had brokered a peace deal between the military and the Haqqani network chief Jalaluddin Haqqani, much before his arrest.

Col Imam had played a key role in training the Afghan Mujahideen during the Afghan jihad. He was in charge of the Mujahideen activities in different parts of Afghanistan. He maintained close ties with Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders in Afghanistan and Waziristan.

“Mullah Omar and the Taliban are highly respected Muslim leaders,” Imam had said in an interview to a television channel, last year.

During his captivity, Col Imam had written several letters to Gen (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg and Lt-Gen Hameed Gul and some politicians to plead for his release.

Col Imam was a bitter critic of the United States which, he said, had left the Afghan mujahideen in the lurch after the defeat of the Soviet forces in the late 1980s.

A special warfare operation specialist, Col Imam had also once served as Pakistan’s consul general at Herat, in Afghanistan.

With additional reporting by Manzoor Ali in Peshawar

Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th,  2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (57)

  • swiss bank
    Jan 23, 2011 - 6:16PM

    loosers**why muslim khan and maulvi omar alive

    is mullah radio and qari hussian also aliveRecommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Jan 23, 2011 - 7:17PM

    Will the State recognise hs sevice and accept that he embaced Shahaadat?Recommend

  • kha
    Jan 23, 2011 - 7:20PM

    As you sow so shall you reap!Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Jan 23, 2011 - 7:32PM

    Great loss. This honourable gentleman served the nation. I met him once. May Allah grant him Jannat. Ameen! Shaheed. Recommend

  • Tarique
    Jan 23, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Sorry for the loss of Imam.See the brutality of these killing machines whose own mentor has not been spared.The ideology and training Colonel Imam had been installing in his young recruits had taken his own life.Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 23, 2011 - 7:52PM

    Indeed the chickens have come home to roost.Recommend

  • Neha Khan
    Jan 23, 2011 - 8:06PM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid: “Shahaadat”, “service”?? You must be joking! Recommend

  • Jan 23, 2011 - 8:07PM

    He is the outright victim of today’s yellow journalism in Pakistan. An anchor of a private T.V. channel who is also a columnist of newspaper is guilty of murder of not only col. imam but also of khalid khwaja While both of them were in the red zone area on a peace mission with taliban leaders. The said anchor/columnist painted them as CIA and ISI agents which ultimately brought this fate to both of them.Such journalists who brought bad name to healthy journalism should be reined in. The survivors of both the victims should initiate legal action against the said journalist.Recommend

  • Jan 23, 2011 - 8:26PM

    Dis is the Greatest loss to our nation……..Recommend

  • Khurram
    Jan 23, 2011 - 8:27PM

    The verse from the Bible, “what you sow is what you reap” applies one hundred percent in Col. Imam’s case, he was playing with fire and eventually got consumed by it. I never knew him except what ever I read of him in the news articles and it is quite sad, what happened to him but he is no Shaheed. Shahadat is achieved only when a person makes the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for the Right Cause (Rah e Haq). Recommend

  • Jan 23, 2011 - 8:32PM

    Innalillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raajeoon. May Allah accept his Shahadat in His path. A great soldier, was honored even by the US Government for his services rendered in the Afghan War which resulted in collapse of the Iron Curtain.

    Too early to speculate anything on this but if he has been killed by the abductors, they surely surely are not the real Taliban. His murder has apparently put the blame directly on Taliban and Taliban are not fools to kill their own mentor. He was a fervent supporter of Taliban, and praised their way of governance more publicly than anyone of his stature. He was not afraid of ‘keeping mum’ like all the others who in their drawing rooms would praise Taliban but in public would rarely dare do so. A brave man he was. And he has paid the price for his bravery. He has been made an example for those who would dare do the same and at the same time defaming the Taliban who are the Pro-Pakistan lot in the North Waziristan. It is done right before USA is preparing for another major push in North Waziristan and this Murder of Brigadier Sultan is an attempt to put american case before the elements in our intelligence still supporting TALIBAN that look, this is what they would do to you as well what they did to their mentor. So perfectly done just. Somebody played his cards here really well. Bravo CIA!Recommend

  • Uzair Javaid
    Jan 23, 2011 - 8:55PM


    He dint train men to become killing machines to kill innocent children offering prayers in mosques, killing innocent women in markets, killing innocents in passenger buses.
    TTP isn’t human nor is it the one He trained, as he expresses himself in an interview aired last year i suppose on Express News.

    Its high time this government does anything to honour who has served the country to bits. He is indeed a Shaheed.Recommend

  • Sara
    Jan 23, 2011 - 9:32PM

    @ Neha Khan

    m sure Col Imam was not the BROTHER/ COUSIN/ FAST FRIEND of Taliban.

    If he had relations with Taliban, he was obeying the orders of his officers, whether Rt or Wrong.

    In ARMY orders are orders. and u have to obey them.

    Even i civil departments, u have to obey the orders of officers, other wise u have to quit. Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Jan 23, 2011 - 10:11PM

    Adnan, How we distinguish between real Taliban and fake ones? Are the real Taliban weaker than fake ones? If they are not, and every report suggests that they rule that area with iron hand and no one can dare to challenge their authority, then why they are allowing fake ones to melign their holy name. I am sorry to say that people like you will never accept that Taliban are worst enemies of Pakistan. It was biggest blunder of ISI and Generals to prop them up and trained them to play havoc with poor Afghan people. Its some delay, but the prayers of innocent victims have been answered and those who propped them up are paying with their lives. This is just a beggining.Recommend

  • Jan 23, 2011 - 10:50PM

    HM should be punished. Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jan 23, 2011 - 10:52PM

    A great enemy of Pashtuns is no more. Pashtuns seems to be getting lucky since 9/11. This man cused the deaths of many Pashtuns.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 23, 2011 - 10:54PM

    May Allah forgive his sins and provide patience to the bereived familyRecommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jan 23, 2011 - 10:57PM

    I am very grieved to read this horrible news.

    May Al-Mighty Allah rest his sole in peace and give strength to the his family to bear this irreparable loss of precious human life. AmeenRecommend

  • faraz
    Jan 23, 2011 - 10:59PM

    @Uzair Javaid

    Do you know about the 1997 massacre of Shias in Mazar Shareef at the hands of good taliban? They didnt even spare the Iranians diplomats.Recommend

  • Asif
    Jan 23, 2011 - 11:01PM

    People with little knowledge about such complex issues must refrain about making comments. As far as liberals are concerned they should go play the #newnameforpakistan game on twitter. Col Imam served his country and did not ask for anything in return. He didnt train anybody out of a hobby or something, he did what was required out of him.Recommend

    Jan 23, 2011 - 11:02PM

    I am afraid those calling the Colonel as shaheed are backing Talebans since he was their mentor who are killing hundreds of civilians as well as the members of your armed forces. It is difficult to comprehend the wisdom of Pak intelligence agencies and even army still courting the terror outfits despite the fact that they have challenged the state, killing civilians at will and threatening to take over the country. They are certainly no assets since they not only pose a grave risk to Pakistan soveregnity but peace of the entire region. Pakistan should take a cue from India’s experience in LTTE debacle where this deadly outfit took on the might of Indian Army and also gave some lessons to their trainers. However, India wisely disassociated from them and also helped Srilanka indirectly to defeat this terrorist outfit. More of above killings of members of the agencies closely associated with them is on the cards in the near future as and when the Army takes action against them or when these outfits decide that they no longer need their mentors. Recommend

  • Zubair
    Jan 23, 2011 - 11:15PM

    I am afraid to say, but he is martyr. @Uzair Javaid, i agree 100% with you..He trained Taliban to fight against foreign invader,i-e, Russia. But TTP are killing innocent muslims which is absolutely absurd and inhumane.Recommend

  • Salman Arshad
    Jan 23, 2011 - 11:28PM

    The extremists ought to fight the ones who created them, and not just the not-so-innocent citizens like us.Recommend

  • Malik
    Jan 24, 2011 - 1:08AM

    @Sharjeel Jawaid:

    “Will the State recognise hs sevice and accept that he embaced Shahaadat?”

    He got killed by the monster he created.Recommend

  • mohtamim
    Jan 24, 2011 - 1:55AM

    Pls don’t make him a hero. I see blood of innocents on his hands.Recommend

  • JYD
    Jan 24, 2011 - 3:18AM

    I hope other Jarnails who did similar deeds will also meet justice. Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Jan 24, 2011 - 7:05AM

    Pakistan could have done without “Shaheeds” like this guy. He and his kind are responsible for the state Pakistan is in right now. When you tango with a snake you must expect to get bitten.Recommend

  • bvindh
    Jan 24, 2011 - 7:07AM

    I am sure that the khufar hindu taliban is responsibleRecommend

  • UmEr
    Jan 24, 2011 - 7:29AM

    He trained the Afghan Mujahideed who are still fighting the occupation in Afghanistan, they are the Afghan Taliban now, the Pakistani Taliban, TTP who martyred to Col. Imam are the RAW funded Terrorists, Afghan Taliban are NOT related to them..

    As the report says, Mullah Omar kept trying for his release.Recommend

  • gujar
    Jan 24, 2011 - 7:48AM

    why the goverment is not interested to investigate the murder of his citizen and there is no official announcement of the death of ex. ISI COLONEL IMAM. Is this happened to everyone. He is the well known person so i requested the visitors on this site please argues about such dirty behaviour.Recommend

  • Romm
    Jan 24, 2011 - 8:06AM

    Till the time we don’t use Stalinic methods, we shall continue loosing people like Col Imam. Indecisiveness, leads to Disasters.Recommend

  • mike
    Jan 24, 2011 - 8:28AM

    Does anyone just die in Pakistan? Looks like every killed man a Shaheed.Recommend

  • Yousaf
    Jan 24, 2011 - 10:01AM

    Col(R) Imam was a great supporter of these blood thirsty talibans. The treatment he got is exactly what these people really are ” Ehsan Faramoosh”Recommend

  • bhutan
    Jan 24, 2011 - 11:09AM

    from mauritius to africa
    from bhutan to japan
    all laughing on you

    because you can not kill tehreek e taliban leaders till long long periouds there is no progessRecommend

  • Asmat Jamal
    Jan 24, 2011 - 11:17AM

    Innalillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raajeoon. He was at the wrong side of the history.Recommend

  • Sandy
    Jan 24, 2011 - 11:55AM

    It’s old habit of Pak army to disown their own people after job is done as they did in Kargil and in this caseRecommend

  • Muddusar
    Jan 24, 2011 - 12:01PM

    Assalamoalikum !!
    Well it is very heart breaking news. May ALLAH ALMIGHTY be please with him and forgive him. Brig Imam known as Col Imam was not an ordinary person . Being a soldier and having experience of serving in waziristan I know very well about all these terrorists from very deep inside .they are born for money , live for money and die for money. To leave your loved ones back at home for months and years is not an easy task. Col Imam remained with Afghan Mujahideen for 9 years operating with them, fight alongwith them. It was Not Col Imam who made talibaan.. It was the cruelity, injustice, terror that give rise to a group of young students to fight against those tyrants in kandahar who raped a minor girl. This young group was liked by all afghans as a hope and everybody followed them to throw out killers, smugglers . Col Imam morally supported them as they were Mujahideens. But unfortunately after 9/11 everybody called himself Talibaan in Pakistan to get favour of local innocent pashtuns who were enraged by the US invasion of Muslim land and poor Col Imam supported morally those who were fighting against invadors. He was always against these terrorists TTP and called them paid killers specially punjabi terrorists. Had he not played his role in war against USSR soviet union we would have been again a colony of USSR like uzbekistan, tajikistan, kazakistan. We are now fighting our own war. Our OFFICERS, soldiers and civilians have paid great price for this .WE cannot live seperately … We have to live as a Muslim and a true Muslim but not as an Afghan, punjabi, sindhi, balochi, kashmiri, pathan otherwise we will soon vanish off like others. AS said by Holy Prophet MUHAMMAD (SAW) ” kissi arabi ko ajmi par aur kissi ajmi( non arab) ko arabi par koi fauqiyaat hasil nahi, agar kissi ko kissi par fauqiyaat hasil hai toh woh taqwa aur ilm par hai ” LOve you all My MUSLIMS BROTHERS AND SISTERSRecommend

  • Jan 24, 2011 - 12:24PM

    Mr Nadeem, Taliban which ruled Afghanistan was a hand picked lot under the command of Mullah Omer. Just like now the word Al Qaeda has been so used up anyone that US wants to kill in drone attacks is demonized as AlQaeda. We have seen so many ‘this person killed is alqaeda number 3’ . There isn’t a shortage of our enemies and they have used this opportunity to raise this insurgency against Pakistan which includes RAW, Russians, Israelis and CIA itself.
    I suggest you check this interiew of Brig Sultan himself in which he has clearly differentiated between these TALIBAN look alikes and the real ones. I guess this really irritated these look alike TALIBAN and they took their revenge for showing their true face. Brig Sultan said in this that now in these TALIBAN there is criminal elements which have got involved funded by CIA, RAW, MOSSAD.!

    Interview of Brig Amir Sultan AKA Colonel IMAM

  • Salman
    Jan 24, 2011 - 1:31PM

    Another brutal murder

    and we wud never be able to know how, when ,and who did it

    silence of ISPR and govt is meaningful…… honestly its a gang-war Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 24, 2011 - 5:13PM

    If this news is true; its a great loss – May God bless his soul.Recommend

  • WaitingforPeace
    Jan 24, 2011 - 5:50PM

    A dear and respected Muslim has fallen victim to malicious foreign forces masquerading as Taliban. The war of confusion continues, many more will embrace shahadat before this is over. I hope that we are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices, we all know the time has come. Recommend

  • Kannan
    Jan 24, 2011 - 6:33PM

    Dear Pakistanis,
    Taliban are fanatics,not bunch of idiots.Pakistan Army double deals with USA and Taliban by playing one side against the other,so that both remains weak in Afghanistan.Taliban plays same good-cop-bad-cop routine with Pakistan army and the state by using nomenclature like TTP/SWAT Taliban etc.Fact is TTP,Haqqanis,Quetta/ Karachi Taliban/Lashkar-e-Toiba(to a certain extend) are fully interoperable and use logistics,training facilities of each other plus taking advice or embedding with Arab/Al-Qaeda fighers.Plz wake up before its too late.
    It already is..but better late than never.Recommend

  • Guest41
    Jan 25, 2011 - 2:44AM

    When will we understand that Pakistan Army is our Army and President of US has to think for US and its people even if it comes at cost of an atomic bomb or war. Every country has an intel agency with men like Col Imam with their lives full of danger. They serve for the national interests not personal. They follow the policy laid down by the seniors. Our country is fighting wars at every front, and its not because we messed up, its our fate. In times like these nations support their men not question them. We cannt have hate for this man, he did everything for us, it doesnot matter if any of the work he did backfired.Recommend

  • Guest41
    Jan 25, 2011 - 2:48AM

    @bhutan: comon dude people arent eveen laughing at you they are disgusted.Recommend

  • Guest41
    Jan 25, 2011 - 2:49AM

    @Neha, @ malik :Thnak God Army doenot think like youRecommend

  • Mirza
    Jan 25, 2011 - 1:02PM


    Well it is very very heart breaking news. According to my simple logic he was killed by our own state. But not by Taliban.Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jan 26, 2011 - 9:46AM

    There is an old saying “Since he knew too much ……….”. It seems to be pure case of knowing too much. What ever is the case, may his soul rest in peace, Aameen.Recommend

  • Arif
    Jan 26, 2011 - 11:41AM

    If it is true, he is victim of Indian aggression.

    I’m sure they have been spotting him since his kidnapping last year and could reach him when he was helpless due to our own mistakes. The war our army is fighting is not on terror or Taliban but is a war of defending Pakistan against Indian proxy in FATA.

    India has beaten us in Kashmir and our pseudo leaders have brought the fight home like the weaker one in dog-fight (Pushtu Proverb).Recommend

  • Mazhar Aziz
    Jan 26, 2011 - 11:43AM

    Well it is very very heart breaking news but i want to knows why Pakistani Special branch officers look like Taliban.Recommend

  • Jan 26, 2011 - 12:58PM

    Because Taliban appearance is what every muslim should look like brother. Covering head with cap or turban and keeping beard is sunnat that every male muslim should follow.Recommend

  • Jan 26, 2011 - 5:48PM

    This is sucha blow. A ridiculous intelligence failure.Recommend

  • rah
    Jan 28, 2011 - 3:20AM

    hes my uncleRecommend

  • Muhammad Muneer
    Jan 29, 2011 - 12:51AM

    Colonel Imam was a true & brave Pakistani.Recommend

  • skyroad
    Feb 2, 2011 - 8:49AM

    he was a legend………………..Recommend

  • Undercover
    Feb 14, 2011 - 1:14AM

    :) He ain’t dead! It’s ISI, you fools! Dead Col. Imam is more hazardous for the allied forces in the region. Read the article again and this time read between the lines. Recommend

  • Abu Mohammad
    Feb 21, 2011 - 2:06AM

    The most of the taliban dont know how to offer prayer dont know about Holy Quran just enrolled for fighting and paid out of money which they get from right and left this war on terror has become so complexed and difficult to comment who is fighting for money who is fighting for fame who is real fighter. now the solution is only one USA and thier aalis should immidiatly leave Afghnistan every thing will be settle and indian who are also tring to score as the kashmir movment is gone slow. only one solution USA should leaveRecommend

  • Mar 5, 2011 - 11:09PM

    The big powers game arena is Afghnistan.USSR gone now the turn is USA and than the world will finish please relax and support HAQRecommend

More in K-P