In exchange for Bajaur boys, Taliban want comrades freed

Published: September 7, 2011
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Pakistani boys kidnapped by Taliban from Bajaur are held hostage in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province on Tuesday. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Pakistani boys kidnapped by Taliban from Bajaur are held hostage in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province on Tuesday. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: 

Pakistani Taliban militants holding a group of boys hostage are using their substantive bargaining chip to demand the release of all Taliban prisoners in the country.

The kidnappers, who are keeping the Pakistani boys captive in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, also asked Bajaur tribesmen to disband all anti-Taliban private militias and end support for the government in return for their release.

In a calculated move, a Taliban leader, Maulvi Dadullah, invited a group of Afghan journalists to one of their bases on Tuesday and gave them access to the teenagers, Afghan journalist Nematullah Karyab told The Express Tribune.

Visiting the Taliban base

Karyab, who met the boys, said “We reached the base in a remote and mountainous region after walking and travelling in vehicles for hours.” Afghan journalists had not believed that Pakistani Taliban were operating from their country until their visit confirmed it, he added.

While talking to the journalists, Dadullah said he was aware that some of the boys were relatives of army personnel but they had not been captured because of their relations.

After he spoke, Afghan reporters were allowed to talk to the hostages, aged 18 to 20, according to Karyab.

A boy identified as Abdul Hanan appealed to his relatives through reporters saying, “I want our tribe to end support for the government otherwise our lives will be in danger. I also ask the government to not force our people to launch anti-Taliban Lashkars.”

Dadaullah said that all the boys had been taken into custody on the Pakistani side of the border and that Taliban had sent their own agents to trap the youngsters who were kidnapped while out picnicking, calling it a “carefully planned operation”.

He also said there would be no solution to the hostage crisis unless the relatives or the government directly contact the Taliban leaders. “If all efforts fail then the Shura will make a final decision under Islamic laws,” he said.

Jirga’s unpublicised efforts

Malik Fateh Mohammad, a tribal elder, told The Express Tribune that a jirga was trying to ensure immediate release of the kidnapped boys. Dadullah on the other hand, has said no one has contacted them so far. The Taliban leader warned that the government and the relatives of the hostages would be responsible for any harm to them if they didn’t receive ‘a positive response’ to their demands.

Mohammad said that a ban on crossing the border for locals meant that they could not go to the Afghan side for direct talks. Another tribal elder requesting anonymity told The Express Tribune that the Taliban had not made these demands for the boys’ release public although tribal intermediaries had contacted them.

Parents speak out

Farid Khan, a resident of the Trakhu area of Mamond told The Express Tribune that his son Rehmatullah was among the kidnapped boys and had only learnt of his kidnapping when the boys who narrowly escaped being kidnapped had narrated their ordeal.

Khan, who operates a tractor to earn a livelihood, said that the families of the kidnapped victims were poor people and had nothing to do with politics. He said he did not know the people who had kidnapped his child. Speaking of the agony his family was going through, he said they had become needless victims as they had nothing to do with the Taliban.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • ali
    Sep 7, 2011 - 10:15AM

    This is the kind of Islam they want to implement upon their own people and rest of the world.
    Such acts are bringing a shame for the muslim community in the world.
    Time for army / political elite to do away with “Good Taliban – Bad Taliban Policy”.
    Real shame

    Recommend

  • Mudassar.R
    Sep 7, 2011 - 10:28AM

    very sad….They must not be called Talibans,,,they are butchers, they are not humans, they are animals, they are cowards, illeterate, brainless, idiots, with nothing in thier brains,,,

    Those animals are what they are, I still cannot believe there are still monster elements in our society who support or defend these animals(taliban).

    May Allah save us from these monster taliban and the monsters who are living in our cities and are supporting them…I really wish they had also kidnapped one of the relatives of those supporting them and they had knew what they doing to us, to our loved ones…

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  • Mirza
    Sep 7, 2011 - 10:38AM

    I have been told that Taliban are true Muslims. How could they kidnap young innocent Pakistani boys for ransom and extortion and bargaining chips to free their armed terrorist associates? Are they our friends or our enemies? When would we become unanimous against them as a nation/country?

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  • A J Khan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:07AM

    Dr Munawar Hassan and Molvi Siraj Ul Haq and JI should give their edict under Islamic Jurisprudence on the matter. I am sure they will find some clause where killing , kidnapping and any such act specially against innocent people will be justified.

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  • Sajid
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:20AM

    Abdul Hanan appealed to his relatives through reporters saying, “I want our tribe to end support for the government otherwise our lives will be in danger. I also ask the government to not force our people to launch anti-Taliban Lashkars.”

    Whatever happened to the traditional ghairat of Tribal pashtun people? When it is the right time to have courage to give up your life for a true and brave cause, they chicken out like cowards. I bet those kids can on another day blow up themselves and dozens of others when they are convinced it is for Islam, but lack the courage to stand steadfast on a true principle.

    Recommend

  • Ishtiaer Hussain
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Our Army has surrendered to the barbarians of medieval times.

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:05PM

    We in Karachi are being told there is no violence in KP… how come this

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  • Ishtiaer Hussain
    Sep 7, 2011 - 12:56PM

    @Mirza:

    We can never create the consensus that we need to defeat the Barbarians until we ban Jamat-e-Islami, TIP, JUI and other religious political parties as terrorist organizations. It is these religious parties which provide the sort of unconditional political support to the Taliban which the US provide to Israel in the Middle East. These parties receive huge fundings from the Arab countries. They are mercenaries willing to kill anyone in return for money.

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  • AD
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:01PM

    ” Afghan journalists had not believed that Pakistani Taliban were operating from their country” They are not only operating from Afghanistan but also having full support of NATO and Afghan Govt. “Shura will decide” .. and the shura will decide to kill the boys if the demands were not met. Butchers.

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  • Dan Morrison
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:03PM

    These “Taliban” are bullies, thieves murderers and cowards. They are also twisting and mutilating religon and should be hunted. All the contries in the world should join the fight to eliminate this blite. There are a few brave countries already there fighting for whats right and they need the worlds help.Recommend

  • TruthSeeker
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:16PM

    @Mirza: What you have been “told” is completely a lie and a disgraceful thing to even think.

    If all efforts fail then the Shura will make a final decision under Islamic laws,” he said.
    So what does our beloved Islamic law say about kidnapping innocent young boys who were picnicking in exchange for terrorists who have been arrested earlier… Absolutely nothing..

    I urge everyone to please pray for the safety and well being of these boys. Their release and safety is as important as that oif salman taseer’s son or the american aid worker. No human being deserves this, regardless of their age, gender, race, nationality, religion, etc…

    Please do not call taliban animnals… that is the biggest insult to animals, which our God’s magnificent creations. Taliban are creatures ofr Satan.

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  • Taimur
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:25PM

    “He also said there would be no solution to the hostage crisis unless the relatives or the government directly contact the Taliban leaders. “If all efforts fail then the Shura will make a final decision under Islamic laws,” he said.”

    sheer mockery of Islam and Islamic laws. isn’t it blasphemy to invoke Islamic laws for such shameless cruelty? What do the mullas, the so called custodians of Islam say about it? no fatwas?

    Recommend

  • LayMan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 1:52PM

    ET , is not it high time that the media acted like one of us and stop calling these bearded Muslim look alike MERCENARIES talibans.

    What you are trying to tell the world that even if they kidnap for extortion they will still be named talibans (meaning students). This requires a little moral courage if only we have it.

    Recommend

  • hasan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 2:53PM

    @Mudassar.R:
    when we use such kind of langauge for our enemy then whats the diff b/w our words and their Action.

    if they are not ‘representing’ the “true Islam” by their Action, then are you showing the “true image” of islam using such words ?

    whats the difference b/w us and them ???

    think it on. :)

    best wishes.

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  • Cynic
    Sep 7, 2011 - 2:53PM

    @LayMan that’s pretty retarded, since these people are calling themselves Taliban. What is ET supposed to do, say ‘I suppose you’re lying then’?

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  • Khan
    Sep 7, 2011 - 3:06PM

    Now if US is serious in combating these criminals .. they should ask GoP to release those prisoners after implanting chips on them to track and kill them all at their bases via drones. They look Mehsuds from their outlooks.
    @Mirza:
    Only JI and JUF like right wing parties will defend them … But its responsibility of the Armed forces as they hold real power along with media and rest of political parties to first move against these parties, to ban them and “get rid of” those people who support these criminals and who are indirectly destroying our society. But perhaps these stake holders don’t care about the country or its common people. All they can do is to kill common, unarmed and patriotic citizens of this country in Karachi and elsewhere.

    Recommend

  • Sep 7, 2011 - 4:55PM

    Why the religous heads are not issuing fatwas against these kidnappings. I am so angry .Recommend

  • Naveed Alam Khattak
    Sep 7, 2011 - 5:07PM

    Ya Allah! “KEEP THESE CHILDERN SAFE FROM THE BRUTALITY OF THESE KIDNAPPERS”. I request all my pashtoon brothers to play their role in relieving terrorism from their own areas. These people are making us fool in the name of Islam. Actually they are palying the active role of traitors. They are harming their own pashtoon community. Inshalllah they will be in the last level of hell.

    Recommend

  • Bilal
    Sep 7, 2011 - 5:26PM

    @sajid .Sitting in your comfy living rooms do you feel the pain of these young boys living under guns? What a shame. Grow upRecommend

  • Ali S
    Sep 7, 2011 - 5:46PM

    You give these people an inch of complacency and they’ll take it a mile to bite you. Really, the only way to deal with this kind of a mindset is annihilating them out of existence – preferably with education rather than bombs.

    Recommend

  • Ali tanoli
    Sep 7, 2011 - 6:09PM

    Give them schools arab petro dollers can build any thing in the world tell them to come
    and build us good school and roads, homes, can some one do this.

    Recommend

  • mustafa
    Sep 7, 2011 - 6:19PM

    people people people you r only seeing one side of a picture dnt knw d whol story behind it. this is all western propaganda to disparage Islam nd dese man in beard r nthng butt dummys who r being used by d tricky minds belonging to different agencies like cia fbi musad raw. it is very imp fr us to wake up nd realize dat dese anti pakistani nd anti islamic forces doesnt want our beloved homeland to b flourished. dont curse taliban or alqaida dey r all puppets nd we r being mislead by dis us nd israel funded media.Recommend

  • Amira
    Sep 7, 2011 - 7:29PM

    @Sajid:
    By passing such a really absurd remark you are not much better than the religious fanatics. Just remember, not all Pukhtuns are Taliban and not all Taliban are Pukhtuns. These boys are children and they should not be in such a horrible condition in the first place, especially if tribal traditions would have been adhered to. Let’s all pray for their safe recovery and reunion with their families. And I pray for you that you will never have to be in a situation like that and that you also develop some compassion with your fellow human beings!Recommend

  • Sep 7, 2011 - 7:47PM

    @Mustafa: Whatever helps you fall asleep at night.

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  • MK
    Sep 7, 2011 - 9:33PM

    The picture tells the whole story

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  • Sep 7, 2011 - 10:50PM

    Vienna,07-09-2011
    It should be possible for Afghan intelligence and the NATO
    forces to locate the captive kids. They should rescue them.
    I hope the Americans take the matter seriously.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna

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  • Munna
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:40PM

    these are Americans and want Americans released.

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  • Grace
    Sep 7, 2011 - 11:44PM

    Shows you the kind of Islam that these anti state criminals practice. Bombing girls schools and kidnapping children to please their foreign paymasters.

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  • Sep 8, 2011 - 2:39AM

    @Grace: do enlighten us who these foreign paymasters are? And what do they get out of kidnapping children?

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  • narayana murthy
    Sep 8, 2011 - 7:02AM

    Boys. These people look like teenagers or young adults.

    Look at the beard on the second-from-left fella.

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  • Noise
    Sep 8, 2011 - 9:49PM

    Self proclaimed champions of Islam kidnap unarmed teenagers and hold them hostage.

    Recommend

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