WEB DESK – According to the latest news published on the website of famous international news agency, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has authorized the release of as many as 16 prisoners linked with outlawed militant group despite the fact that country’s security officials wanted strict actions against the outfit.
The report on Reuters stated that Pakistan has freed at least sixteen Taliban prisoners with the approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The agency quoted the the political agent of South Waziristan, the highest government official in the northwestern tribal region, confirming the move.
The political agent Islam Zeb told Reuters that the government has started releasing non-combatant prisoners to boost reconciliation efforts. “South Waziristan’s political administration released sixteen men on April 1. They are not major commanders. They are innocent tribals who were arrested during different search operations in South Waziristan in the last two to three years,” he added.
Zeb said all the released prisoners belonged to the Mehsud tribe, a major Pashtun tribe living in South Waziristan. Another 100 prisoners on the Taliban’s list were being processed and would be released in the next few days, he added.
However, the same report quoted an anonymous high-ranked military official stating that the release of Taliban prisoners involved in attacks on civilians and the army was “impossible”.
“There is no way these hardened militants will be freed,” said the official who declined to be identified.
“Neither will the army pull out of the tribal areas. What are the Taliban asking: that we hand them parts of the country? That’s not going to happen. No chance,” military official added.
Taliban have initially demanded release of 300 to 400 prisoners, including noncombatants, and a list of them has also been handed over to government’s negotiation team.
The chief negotiator of outlawed Taliban militant group and leader of Jamiyat Ulema-eIslam-Sami (JUI-S), Maulana Samiul Haq, had earlier advised federal government to go ahead and release Taliban men from prison and then ask something in return.
PakistanTribe reported on March 27 that Taliban had refused to release Shahbaz Taseer s/o late Governor of PunjabSalman Taseer and Ali Musa Gilani s/o former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani. However, the conditional release of professor Ajmal Khan, vice chancellor of a university, was acceptable to militant group. The condition was to release their two men currently in custody of Sindh government.
On March 31, PakistanTribe reported that The chief of his own Ulema Council, Maulana Tahir Asharfi said that federal government should form a judicial commission to probe into the matter of outlawed Taliban’s non-combatant prisoners as militants themselves want the same.
The face of GeoTV network ‘Hamid Mir’ had also made a controversial claim while accepting his contacts with the outlawed militant organization.
Mir said that Ismatullah Shaheen was in contact with me before getting murdered in an attack. “Ismatullah Shaheen was preparing the list of non-combatant prisoners, mainly children and women. He shared the information with me upon which I asked that how would be ever prove that these women and children are in the custody of Pakistan security forces? Replying to my question, he (Ismatullah) said that in real these people are in custody of some private people who are keeping them in private jails of Sawat.”