Officials: Senior Pakistani judge freed from militant captivity 'unconditionally'

Authorities in Pakistan said Monday that militants had “unconditionally” released a senior judge who had been held hostage for two days in a volatile northwestern region.
Pakistani judge: Authorities in Pakistan said Monday that militants had “unconditionally” released a senior judge who had been held hostage for two days in a volatile northwestern region. [VOA]
Pakistani judge: Authorities in Pakistan said Monday that militants had “unconditionally” released a senior judge who had been held hostage for two days in a volatile northwestern region. [VOA]

Pakistani judge: Authorities in Pakistan said Monday that militants had “unconditionally” released a senior judge who had been held hostage for two days in a volatile northwestern region.

Judge Shakirullah Marwat was kidnapped, along with his driver, on Saturday from a road near the militancy-hit district of Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

Mohammad Ali Saif, a provincial information advisor, confirmed to VOA the judge’s safe recovery, but he would not share further details.

Marwat was traveling to Dera Ismail Khan when dozens of armed men ambushed his vehicle.

The driver, who was briefly held captive, conveyed the kidnappers' demands to Pakistani authorities for the release of their imprisoned relatives and militant partners in exchange for the judge's freedom.

On Sunday, militants sent a video to journalists in which Marwat had stated that he was taken hostage by the Pakistani Taliban. He had also pleaded with the provincial and federal governments and the country’s chief justice to urgently meet militants’ demands to secure his recovery.

While police claimed the judge was “rescued” in a security operation, highly placed official sources told VOA that local tribal elders had helped secure the release of the hostage through negotiations with his captors. It was unclear immediately whether any prisoner exchange or ransom was involved.

Separately on Monday, a Pakistan military statement said that it carried out a pre-dawn “intelligence-based” operation against a suspected militant hideout in a district adjoining Dera Ismail Khan and killed “four terrorists.”

Pakistan’s border areas have lately experienced a dramatic surge in deadly attacks against security forces by militants linked to the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban.

Last week, eight Pakistani customs officials tasked to counter weapons smuggling were also killed by suspected TTP militants in separate attacks in Dera Ismail Khan.

Pakistan says TTP is orchestrating the violence from sanctuaries in Afghanistan, killing hundreds of civilians and security forces in recent months. The neighboring country’s fundamentalist Taliban authorities reject the charges, saying no foreign militant groups are based on Afghan soil. VOA/SP

logo
NewsGram
www.newsgram.com