Kidnapped colonel, two aides recovered safely

Mansoor Khan & Bari Baloch KARACHI/ QUETTA - A former Pakistan Army colonel who was abducted along with his two friends-cum-business partners from the Gadap Police precincts in May last was recovered after a joint operation, carried out by the Karachi and Balochistan police in Sakran area of District Lasbela on Sunday. A middle aged passer-by lost his life during the shoot-out between the police and the kidnappers. Col Aneesur Rehman and his friends - Khalid Soori and Arshad Lodhi were abducted on May 8 last from the Gadap Town on way home from Rehmans farmhouse, located some 8 km away from the Super Highway. Rehman, a former colonel, was currently appointed as a Special Pilot for Director General of the Frontier Constabulary on deputation and a resident of Shadman Town, while Lodhi and Soori live in Federal B Area. Lodhi is a Sui Southern Gas Company contractor and owned around six CNG stations along the Super Highway, while Soori is involved diary farming business. A kidnapping FIR No 108/10 was registered against unidentified suspects on the complaint of Lodhis nephew Najamuddin with the Gadap City Police and later the Sindh IGP formed three separate teams to probe the kidnapping. Their families were dealing with the kidnappers as Rs20 million ransom was demanded for their release and the families were almost agreed to pay the ransom amount. With the negotiations, the CPLC was tracing their cell phones to find out location of the kidnappers and on the same way, investigators were also trying to trace out whereabouts of the kidnappers through their sources. Reporter from Quetta added that the personnel of law enforcement agencies recovered three abductees, including a Lieutenant Colonel from Sakran area of Lasbela. One of the alleged kidnappers was killed in an encounter while twelve others were arrested. It is said that one of the accused, Karim Bakhsh, was killed in the operation and 12 others were taken into custody. The dead body of Karim was handed over to the heirs after completion of legal formalities. Later, the relatives of Karim Bakhsh and other residents of the area blocked the highway connecting Quetta and Karachi at Hub. They demanded immediate release of innocent persons arrested by the law enforcers and probe into the killing of Karim Bakhsh in a fake encounter.