The United Nations has shown concern over the fate of a U.N. refugee agency official John Solecki who was kidnapped one week ago in southwestern Pakistan by Baluchistan Liberation United Front. These concerns were anticipated after the video release of killing of Piotr Stanczak, a Polish engineer who was kidnapped by the Taliban last September in the Attock region, near the border with Afghanistan. According to media reports in video his head was being mutilated after addressing his government.
Media reports disclosed that he was killed after the refusal of Taliban’s demand of releasing Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was major culprit behind killing of Daniel Pearl; A Wall street Journalist – besides few other local Taliban from Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, a banned militant outfit. Pakistani government was negotiating with the militants from Tehrik-i-Taliban; militants were offered ransom by the Polish and Pakistani government also but militants killed Polish engineer after being denied on demands of returning Omar Saeed Sheikh and terminating operation against them in these areas of Dara Adam Khail.
In last few months Taliban have kidnapped many foreigners including a diplomat from Afghanistan, and another from Iran, who were captured in separate ambushes in the chaotic city of Peshawar in the North-West Frontier Province late last year, are still being held by militants. A Chinese telephone technician captured in the Swat Valley last year is also in Taliban hands. An American aid worker, Stephen Vance, was shot and killed on his way to work in Peshawar in November. And a U.N. refugee agency official John Solecki who was kidnapped one week ago in southwestern Pakistan. After his death the major concern with Pakistani government is the release and protection of rest of the foreigners.
Captor’s demands proved that Tehrik-i-Taliban headed by Bait Ullah Mehsud has links with other outfits including Lashkar-i-Jhangvi; and they aspire to strengthen their Network across the country. That government of Pakistan has tackled very prudently by just not returning the militants to the Taliban. Government deserve a round of applause for giving world a message that they will not lose this war easily against militants. However for many this is like washing one’s dirty cloths openly where government is being criticized for its inability to control militants and establishing the writ of Government in these areas. For me this video has become one more source of hatred against these militants. However the demand of “do more” will mount and international backlash will increase in order to speedup the process of eliminating militancy.
At such time when Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan is coming to Pakistan on his first official visit; the release of video gives a strong message of retaliation will continued by the Talibans. Keeping in view the situation of Afghanistan Richard C. Holbrooke has already warned the western policy makers that the war in Afghanistan will be “much tougher than Iraq,” . The demand for more support from Pakistan during his visit is foreseeable as US Vice President Joe Biden has said that no strategy for Afghanistan can succeed without Pakistan.
The major chunk in Afghanistan fighting is from U.S. and UK, probably few of Polish are fighting in NATO troops. Despite the fact that Government of Pakistan has yet not confirmed the death of Polish Engineer; surely his killing will not result in closure of bi-lateral relations between Poland and Pakistan as demanded by the engineer in the released video. For many he was speaking under pressure. He requested his government for not sending more troops to Afghanistan or in Tribal areas.
It is well known truism that insurgency in Pakistan is corollary of Afghan war. From the porous boarder of Afghanistan; seepage of Afghan Taliban is uninterrupted because they have probable support from Local Taliban organizations. Along with all facts insurgency in Pakistan is known to world thus for me this incident will not be able to create desired buzz among international community for taking some serious steps against Pakistan.
But still being speculative my brows are raised for why demand of release Omar Saeed Sheikh came earlier and why on this time when special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrook is visiting. Taliban organization refused to have ransom that showed they have enough funds to run their affairs. This is questionable and hogwash who is funding these organizations and for what purposes… Besides West and U.S. this incident can provide India with another chance to declare Pakistan a terrorist state. It already has changed its tone with release of Dr. Khan; Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “Nobody should think that the great country is helpless to deal with the situation. We repeat that all options are still open before us”.
I foresee U.S and West will demand more from Pakistan to abolish militants; after all they have got a message that their people are not safe in Pakistan. Before the demand from India once again comes against Pakistan for declaring Pakistan a terrorist state; government should pay attention for the release of rest of foreigners.