Pak Affairs

Taliban release video of killing of Col Imam

ISLAMABAD: Taliban have released the video of killing of former ISI officer Col Imam. Col Imam has been killed almost a year after he was kidnapped by militants in the Waziristan tribal region. The video was released later on Saturday showing the killing of Col Imam. Earlier Tehrik Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan was quoted by TV news channels as saying that a video of Sultan Amir Tarar alias Colonel Imam, showing him dead, will be released later in the day.

“The video will show Taliban fighters firing at Colonel Imam… Colonel Imam is no more in this world,” Ahsan said. A little-known militant faction called the Asian Tigers in North Waziristan Agency had earlier claimed they had killed the former ISI official. But a media report early this week had said that Imam was alive and in the custody of Taliban fighters.

Colonel Imam was kidnapped by militants affiliated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan led by Hakimullah Mehsud in March last year. The abductors had reportedly demanded Rs. 50 million and the release of some jailed militants for Colonel Imam’s freedom.

Colonel Imam was widely respected by the Afghan Taliban for his role in the Afghan Jihad against Soviet forces during 1979-89. He described himself as the “teacher” of Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar in several interviews. He also served as Pakistan’s consul general in the western Afghan city of Herat after the installation of a Taliban government in Kabul.

Earlier the TTP had announced that Sultan Amir Tarar real name of Col. Imam died of a heart attack while in custody, but his body remains with the insurgents, said Tariq Hayat, the top government representative in the northwest tribal regions.
Tarar was kidnapped along with a British journalist who was released in September and another former spy, Khalid Khawaja, who was executed by his captors in April. Tarar’s kidnapping appeared to indicate the extent to which some insurgents in the lawless northwest had abandoned any loyalties to Pakistani intelligence agencies.

Some media reports have said Tarar maintained operational ties with insurgents in recent years, which he denied. In interviews before his kidnapping, he had spoken of the need to negotiate with the Afghan Taleban to end the almost 10-year war.

It is unclear why the two men traveled to the northwest, but they presumably felt their background and Islamist views offered some protection while traveling there. The region is now home to groups battling the Pakistan state and its intelligence agencies, Al-Qaeda and also Afghan Taleban factions fighting in Afghanistan. A previously unknown militant group calling itself the “Asian Tigers” initially said it had seized the men. Analysts speculated the captors were a new breed of militants who had turned against their former protectors

About the author

Azhar Masood

Azhar Masood is Controller of News in PTV, and Chief Instructor of PTV Academy, working for Arab News. He has Covered Iraq War from Baghdad for CNN, BBC, FOX News, and Al-Jazeera and other regional channels. He covered conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina. He interviewed Yasir Arafat of Palestine, Paul Wolfoweit, Prime Minister Jean Ghteyan of Canada, Dr. Amar Musa of Egypt, Mr. Haris Slajic, Prime Minister of Bosnia Dr. Akbar Ali Vallayati, former Foreign Minister of Iran, President Kumaratunge of Sri Lanka, Mr. Kumar Su Bramanyem, Director of National Defence Institute of India, Mr. Hamid Karzai President of Afghanistan, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi of Iraq National Congress, Mr. Hoshyar Zubari, Vice President Kurdish Democratic Party of Iraq

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