Pakistani Militants Still Hold 300 Soldiers Hostage
Last week there were reports that over 300 Pakistani soldiers and 16 trucks had been captured by militants in one of the remote regions.
Later there were reports that the missing soldiers were found safe.
Pakistani militants are still holding the ‘300’ soldiers hostage in the South Waziristan region.
ADN Kronos reported:
The Pakistani government has asked a tribal jirga or assembly of tribal elders to resume its efforts to free hundreds of soldiers held hostage by militants in the volatile South Waziristan region.
Close to 300 Pakistani soldiers and officers were taken hostage last week by pro-Taliban militants in the tribal area.
The militants have demanded that the military withdraw from South Waziristan and release 15 of their men from government custody.
The government summoned the administrator of the tribal region, Hussainzada Khan, to Islamabad for consultations, an official source told the Pakistani daily, Dawn, on Tuesday.
A leading member of the jirga, Senator Maulana Salih Shah, met militant commander Baitullah Mehsud and told Dawn that the militants were maintaining their demands. The main demand is the withdrawal of troops from South Waziristan controlled Mehsud.
According to Shah, Baitullah Mehsud said that “the army has no business to be in the Mehsud territory.
“The Mehsud territory does not share borders with Afghanistan and if the army is here to stop cross-border infiltration it should move to the border and not stay in our area,” the militant commander said.
Pakistani officials today released over 100 Mehsud tribesmen after the militants threatened to behead the soldiers:
The Pakistan Government has freed 100 Mehsud tribesmen after tribal commander Baitullah Mehsud threatened to behead five soldiers daily if his people were not released.
Militants, who are holding hundreds of soldiers hostage, also demanded the withdrawal of forces from the restive South Waziristan tribal region and the release of 15 alleged would-be suicide bombers who are in government custody, said an official.