Have they been ditched and bitten by one of their own? Or the General Zia-ul-Haq group of Pakistan’s ISI has staged an interesting drama by claiming that two of its visible assets Squadron Leader (retired) Khalid Khwaja and Colonel (retired) Imam as well as an invisible asset, Asad Qureshi, a dubious journalist, have been kidnapped by the Taliban?
A hitherto unheard of militant group called the Asian Tigers on Monday issued a video of two top former ISI officials and a journalist whom it claimed to have kidnapped in Pakistan’s volatile tribal belt.
The video, which was aired by Geo News channel, featured former Inter-Services Intelligence official Khalid Khwaja, Col (retired) Imam alias Sultan Amir Tarar and Asad Qureshi, a British journalist of Pakistani-origin. The three men had gone missing after travelling to North Waziristan on March 25 to interview Taliban leaders. Source
In the video, both hostages introduced themselves as former ISI officers. They claimed that they were visiting the tribal areas following an advice by former Army Chief General Aslam Baig and former DG ISI Lt.General Hamid Gul. Source
Actors and directors
Director of the drama: General Hameed Gul
Co-director: General Aslam Beg
Key performers or scapegoats?: Khalid Khwaja and Colonel Imam
Side hero: British journalist Asad Qureshi
External aides (co-assassins): Khalid Ibrahim Paracha (Sipah-e-Sahaba), Shah Abdul Aziz (Taliban killer of the Polish engineer)
Propaganda agency: Geo TV/ Jang Group / Al Jazeerah
Aims of the drama
1. To divert attention from the UN Commission’s report which has recently indicted General Musharraf and the ISI for Benazir Bhutto’s murder.
2. To secure the release of key terrorists currently arrested, Mullah Kabir and Mullah Mansoor Dadullah.
3. To demonstrate a lack of connection between the ISI and their puppets (Taliban)
4. To divert attention from the Taliban’s attacks on innocent Pakistanis (school children, IDPs, Shias, ordinary citizens)
Here is the ‘official’ news item
Taliban release video of abductees
Updated at: 1600 PST, Monday, April 19, 2010
PESHAWAR: The video of former ISI man Sultan Ameer alias Col. Imam, Squadron (rtd) Muhammed Khalid Khawja and a British journalist Asad Qureshi, abducted by Taliban, has come out, Geo News reported Monday.
Taliban extremists released the video of the abductees who they lifted from Wana while on way to Waziristan from Kohat on March 25 on charges of spying.
Col. Imam, introducing himself in the video, said he came to Waziristan on advice from Gen (rtd) Aslam Baig.
Khalid Khawja said he came to Waziristan at the bidding of Gen (rtd) Aslam Baig and Gen (rtd) Hameed Gul.
The British abductee demanded the government of his release.
The abductees said they have been abducted by an organization Asian Tiger.
Imam has been a close friend of Taliban. Khalid is chief of Defence for Human Rights (a pseudo human rights group aimed at protecting Taliban’s right to kill innocent citizens and escape punishment).
According to sources, Khalid and Imam were in Waziristan in connection with peace negotiations.