ISLAMABAD – After a lot of confusion and contradictory statements by Prime Minister House and Ministry of Interior, finally it has been settled that Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was actually behind the release of 19 non-combatant Taliban prisoners.
According to the media watch and reports published in different news outlets, the interior ministry had confirmed the release of as many as 19 prisoners who belonged to Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan agency.
A source in interior ministry claimed that those 19 men were investigated by the local administration and found not guilty of any crime.
Yesterday, PakistanTribe attributed the report published by an international news agency claiming that at least 16 Taliban prisoners were released with the direct orders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. After that report, the office of Prime Minister straightforwardly denied any role playing in this regard rather it denied the release of any such prisoners.
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.”