Mullah Omer sends jirga to negotiate Col Imam’s release?
* Kohat-based PML-N leader reveals jirga has ‘reached Miranshah’
PESHAWAR: A jirga representing Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar reached North Waziristan on Saturday to negotiate the safe release of former ISI official Col Imam, as a tribal peace committee secured the body of another former ISI official Khalid Khawaja, who was found dead on Friday, a pro-Taliban PML-N leader and family members said.
Kohat-based PML-N leader Javed Paracha revealed a jirga sent by Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar had “reached Miranshah” to “secure the release of Col Imam” without any preconditions.
There was no independent confirmation of Paracha’s claims though. However, the pro-Mullah Omar Haqqani network is very influential in North Waziristan and if the pro-Haqqani local Taliban pressurise the “Asian Tigers”, they would have to release Col Imam – described as “very close” to Mullah Omar.
A hitherto unknown group, the Asian Tigers claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. They demanded the release of some key Afghan Taliban leaders held in Pakistan in exchange for kidnapped officials and $10 million for a British journalist.
Meanwhile, Khalid Khawaja’s body was taken to Islamabad after a peace committee helped the Miranshah political administration recover it. “His body is on his way and will reach (Islamabad) soon,” Fahad, a relative of Khawaja, told Daily Times over the phone.