LAHORE - The government committee has prepared a list of captives in Taliban incarceration to present it to peace negotiators to secure their release, The Nation has learnt.
Well-placed sources told this correspondent on Thursday that the peace committee, with the help of intelligence agencies – ISI, M1 and IB – has prepared the list of more than four dozen captives being held by outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and it will be forwarded to TTP shura during the next round of direct talks.
When asked about the profile of the captives on that list, a source informed that the captives include members of irregular forces, local tribesmen assisting the government in campaign against the TTP and low cadre members of political administration, besides some men who are part of secret services’ private information network.
He also informed that the government committee was also going through the list of TTP prisoners which they claim were non-combatants or not involved in the direct action of the 43-member militant umbrella.About the fate of high profile captives in TTP captivity, he said that TTP shura told them that they were holding only Professor Ajmal Khan, while the sons of slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani were not in their captivity; however, they could make efforts to secure their release from the groups who are holding them if the peace talks bear fruit in the near future.
Yousuf Shah, TTP mediating team coordinator, when contacted said that they were making contacts with TTP shura for holding of next round of direct talks as soon as possible to take up the issue of prisoners and extension in ceasefire. Claiming that the TTP hasn’t resorted to any violence even after ending of the ceasefire, he however stressed that for the smooth sailing of the process a formal announcement over the matter was necessary.
Meanwhile, a senior member of the security establishment said air raids on Khyber Agency militant safe havens were being carried out against those terrorists who carried out attacks in federal capital, Rawalpindi and recent attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and they were proving successful. He said those elements opposing peace and continuing attacks on state institutions and civilians would be neutralised through targeted operations of the special units of the security forces.
The Nation in a lead story four days back reported that special units of the security forces would take on the elements in the tribal region who are engaged in militant activity against the state and the citizens. Tribesmen close to the TTP leadership told this scribe that militants operating in Khyber Agency have no connection with Pakistani Taliban and they were operating independently.
GUNMEN KILL FOUR COPS IN NASEERABAD
AFP adds: Gunmen shot dead four policemen Thursday in Naseerabad district of Balochistan which has been hit by an insurgency for almost a decade, officials said.
The shooting took place when police on routine patrol were passing from the town of Chattar in Naseerabad district, some 200 kilometres south of Quetta.
“Four policemen were martyred when two gunmen on a motorcycle ambushed their vehicle in Chattar area,” local police station chief Ali Hassan told AFP.
The police were on patrol when they were attacked, Hassan said, adding that nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the shooting. A senior district administration official Aghan Khuda-i-Dad confirmed the incident.