Poland says engineer held by Taliban believed dead; Taliban’s Sipah-e-Sahaba / Lashkar-e-Jhangavi wing involved…

There are confirmed reports that the Polish engineer kidnapped by the Taliban near the Pindi Sultani area of Attock on Sept 28 has been killed. His driver and two guards were shot dead at the time of his abduction.

The life of yet another innocent visitor to this country, engaged in work of benefit to the wider population, has been taken away – and for what? Peter Stanczak had been working for the Polish National Seismic Agency when he was kidnapped.

His captors had threatened to kill him on Feb 4 if the government did not accept their demands. Their demands were typical — the release of militants (belonging to Taliban, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangavi) imprisoned in various jails and in the custody of intelligence agencies and a halt to military operations in tribal areas, including Darra Adamkhel, Bajaur, Swat and Waziristan. Equally typically, the government was not going to – indeed could not and should not – comply.

On Feb 2 John Solecki, the head of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Quetta was kidnapped and his driver killed. Stanczak and Solecki,

join a growing list of foreign workers and diplomats who have either been kidnapped or killed by the Taliban. Underpinning these dreadful acts there is a pervasive belief that ‘foreign’ equals ‘bad’. A belief that the ‘foreigners’ who come here to work, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, do so with some sort of hidden agenda.

The truth is that ‘foreigners’ like Mr Solecki and the murdered Mr Stanczak come here to work with the humanitarian imperative close to the front of their minds. We should be thankful that they do, we need the skills and experience they bring with them – and that there are still those brave enough to be willing to serve here.

(The News, Editorial, 8 Feb 2009)

Polish geologist Peter Stanczak was mercilessly beheaded.

Who killed him?

Taliban have accepted the responsibility. The video was shown/ widely reported in the international media. They were demanding the release of their fellow Taliban from Pakistani jails.

(Previously Taliban have openly claimed responsibility of many such attacks including killing of Shiites in a hospital in D.I.Khan, destruction of about 200 schools in Swat, beheading of numerous police and army personnel).

Some people (e.g. Imran Khan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed) suggest that the acts of terror in Pakistan are being done by foreign agents.

In this case, it seems that Taliban (TTP) are the foreign agents. Is that right?

Then, what should we think about those people who are sympathetic to the mission and the demands of the Taliban, who suggest that the Government of Pakistan must negotiate with the Taliban, who suggest that Pakistan army must withdraw from Swat and FATA (e.g. Imran Khan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed).

Are they, too, foreign agents?

Where is ownership?

How long does it take for an army/government to jam/spot/eliminate an FM radio station run by Taliban? In Swat, it has taken more than 2 years, and the scourge goes on.



Critical thinking? How can we critically think unless we are willing to think outside the box?

Pakistan media: Polish hostage killed
Sat, 07 Feb 2009 07:17:01 GMT

Militants, who had abducted Polish geologist Peter Stanczak, have apparently killed him on Friday morning.

Taliban militants have reportedly killed a Polish geologist taken hostage some 110 kilometers west of Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

Local media reports said that Tehreek-i-Taliban militants, who had in custody Polish geologist Peter Stanczak, have killed him on Friday morning.

Local officials at Kohat city and Peshawar declined to comment on the reports, according to the Press TV correspondent.

The reports come as Poland’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that Taliban kidnappers had extended the deadline for their demands to be met.

“The minister has confirmed media information on the extension of the ultimatum,” which expired on Wednesday, Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Jacek Najder told reporters.

“Today our representatives in Islamabad received assurances from Pakistani government that efforts were being made to bring the case to a happy conclusion,” Najder said.

Tehrik-e-Taliban militants had threatened on January 30 to kill the hostage if their demands are not met within a week.

“We cannot wait more as the government has taken acceptance of our demands (in return) for the release of Polish geologist Peter (Stanczak) very light,” a spokesman for Darra Adamkhel chapter, affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban, has said in a statement.

It added that the militant group’s demands include the complete withdrawal of Pakistani forces from volatile tribal regions, and the release of captured insurgents. The statement did not ask for ransom.

Polish geologist Peter Stanczak was under a contract with Pakistan’s national Oil and Gas development Company Limited (OGDCL), when he was abducted near Jand town in Attock district of Punjab four months ago.

Peter – in a video released by Taliban – appeals to the Warsaw government to persuade Islamabad into accepting the militants’ demands and save his life.




Tanvir Qaiser Shahid, Daily Express.



Taliban say kidnapped Pole killed; fate unclear
Sat Feb 7, 2009 5:46am EST

By Abdul Sami Paracha

KOHAT, Pakistan, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The fate of a Polish engineer kidnapped in Pakistan was unclear after a Taliban spokesman said that he had been killed on Saturday, but the body wouldn’t be handed over until captured fighters were released.

Dawn News television channel reported the Taliban spokesman’s claim that Piotr Stancza was killed because the authorities had failed to free the militants before a deadline that expired at midnight on Friday, but there was no confirmation from Pakistani officials.

The same Taliban spokesman, identified only as Mohammed, told Reuters that Stancza was dead, but went on to say that the body would only be handed over once the Taliban’s demands were met, raising a question of whether it was a negotiating tactic.

“We have killed the man after authorities refused to release our colleagues,” the purported Taliban spokesman told Reuters. “We will now hand over his body only after our demands are met.”

An intelligence official in the region, who requested anonymity, said the Taliban had demanded 200,000 rupees ($2,540) for the return of the body.

Officials were unable to verify the Taliban claim, and the two principal hostage negotiators handling Stancza’s case could not be reached immediately for comment.

A Polish official said Pakistan’s interior ministry had signalled overnight that negotiations were continuing for Stancza’s release, and the Polish government viewed reports of his death as “media speculation”.

“We have no signal from our embassy, or from the (Pakistani) administration that the person was killed,” Poland’s deputy foreign minister, Jacek Najder, told a news conference. Stancza was kidnapped on Sept. 28 while visiting one of his company’s sites near Attock city, about 65 km (40 miles) west of the capital, Islamabad.

Gunmen shot dead his Pakistani driver, bodyguard and translator before taking him hostage.

Militants had demanded that 60 of their comrades should be freed, but later cut their demand to four of their top men and negotiations have intensified over the past 10 days.

Attacks on foreign aid workers, company employees and diplomats have increased in Pakistan over the past year, especially in areas near the border with Afghanistan, where Taliban and al Qaeda militants are battling government forces.

An American heading the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in southwestern province of Baluchistan, was abducted last week and his driver was shot dead.

Two Chinese telecommunication engineers, two Afghan diplomats and an Iranian diplomat were kidnapped in northwest Pakistan, though one of the Chinese later escaped.

(Additional reporting by Alamgir Bitani; Writing by Augustine Anthony; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Sugita Katyal)


Poland says engineer held by Taliban believed dead

Sat Feb 7, 2009

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland has received unofficial confirmation that a Polish engineer kidnapped by the Taliban in Pakistan has been killed, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday.

“We do not have a solid proof but we have received unofficial confirmation that this tragedy indeed took place,” Tusk told reporters in Munich in comments broadcast live on Polish TV.

Piotr Stancza, an engineer for the Polish company Geofizyka Krakow, was kidnapped on Sept. 28 while visiting a site near Attock city, about 65 km west of Islamabad.

Gunmen shot dead his Pakistani driver, bodyguard and translator before taking him hostage.

In a press briefing in Warsaw, deputy foreign minister Jacek Najder said the Pakistani internal affairs ministry had received information from three independent sources the Pole was killed.

A Taliban spokesman said he had been killed on Saturday but the body would not be handed over until captured fighters were released.

Paksitan’s Dawn News television channel quoted him as saying Stancza was killed because the authorities had failed to free the militants before a deadline that expired at midnight on Friday, but there was no confirmation from Pakistani officials.

An intelligence official in the region, who requested anonymity, said the Taliban had demanded 200,000 rupees ($2,540) for the return of the body.



BBC Report




Also read:

Evidence of Lashkar-e-Jhangavi/Sipah-e-Sahaba’s involvement in the kidnapping and beheading of the Polish engineer



Video Is Said to Be Polish Hostage’s Beheading in Pakistan

Published: February 9, 2009

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — A graphic video delivered to reporters on Sunday appeared to show the execution of a Polish engineer by Pakistani militants who had held him captive for more than four months.

The seven-minute video appears to show the engineer, Piotr Stanczak, sitting on the floor flanked by two masked men. Off camera, a militant briefly engages him in conversation before three others behead him. One of the hooded men then addresses the camera, blaming Pakistan for the execution because it had not agreed to demands to release Taliban prisoners.

If confirmed, Mr. Stanczak’s death would appear to be the first killing of a Western hostage in Pakistan since Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was beheaded in 2002.

Pakistan has had a rash of kidnappings and attacks on foreigners in recent months, mostly attributed to militants from Al Qaeda and the Taliban trying to destabilize the secular government and punish it for supporting the American-led war next door in Afghanistan.

On Saturday a Taliban spokesman said Mr. Stanczak was killed Friday night because the government had missed a deadline to release 26 prisoners.

On Sunday an intermediary who said he had obtained it from the Taliban gave an Associated Press reporter in northwest Pakistan the video on a flash drive. Reuters also reported receiving a copy of the video.

An Interior Ministry spokesman, Shahidullah Baig, said the government had “heard about” the existence of the video and was investigating.

Piotr Adamkiewicz, a spokesman at the Polish Embassy in Islamabad, said the mission had seen some images from the video. He said it appeared to show the Polish hostage being killed.

Armed men pulled Mr. Stanczak from his car on Sept. 28 after killing three Pakistanis traveling with him near the city of Attock in northwestern Pakistan, a lawless region believed to be a possible hiding place for Osama bin Laden and other Qaeda leaders.

Mr. Stanczak worked for a Polish geophysics firm under contract with a Pakistani state oil company.

John Solecki, the American official with a United Nations refugee agency, was seized last Monday in Quetta, in Baluchistan Province, as he was traveling to work. His driver was shot to death.

Wazir Khan Nasir, the chief investigator in Quetta, said a previously unknown ethnic Baluch separatist group calling itself the Baluchistan Liberation United Front telephoned a local journalist Saturday to claim responsibility. He did not say what the group’s demands were.

(The New York Times)



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