International Affairs Opinion

Polish engineer killed; Taliban working for whom?

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.

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times


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  • Whole Pakistani nation condemn this act of beheading innocent Polish engineer not becuase those killers belong to Pakistan but because he has been killed in Pakistan..those taliban do not belong to Pakistan had they ben they would never have done this to bring bad names for Pakistan … however it is fact that Pakistan is disturbed because of deteriorated situation in Afghanistan;

  • This is a good article, there are two things that i want to add.
    1. This situation that Pakistan is facing is only because of the US policies, Afghan war and inability and sold leaders. As afghan war begun it was difficult for taliban to survive easily so some of the group come into Pakistan.

    2. In the message from the Polish engineer, its clear the they want to prove Pakistan government is not able and Pakistan is not secure place (true) but i feel that our neighbour countries are behind them.

  • It is crazy that in 2009 that this type of thing can occur and no repercussions on the perpetrators. It is high time for all of the governments to step up and come together on this issue and eliminate those responsible for such reprehensible acts on civilians and non-combatants.

  • Poland called back its ambasador to Pakistan officially it is beacuse they want to debrief him on the negotiations however unnoficcially I can guarantee you Poland will strike at Pakistan !

    Everybody here is schocked at that murder we want revenge on Talibian the question for you pakistani’s are you or our side or Taliban

    Good thing about this is however that this is Poland and our country dosen’t supress the ones they occupy so your goverment and the rest won’t really change after the Polish army kills all the Tallibans and free the hostages they will go home ! and leave the rest to Pakistani’s !

  • Raw agents want to bring sin to this holy land and make CIA happy. No intelligence in taking life and I hope they are caught and made to explain their sad actions to the families of the lost ones. No decent person wants to hurt any one. Blame RAW and CIA pay masters.