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Tariq Azizuddin

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Tariq Azizuddin is the Pakistani ambassador to Turkey, was previously Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan.

He was kidnapped by the Taliban,on February 11, 2008. when he went through the Khyber agency, prior to passing through the border crossing at Towr Kham, without taking a security escort that was waiting for him at the start of the tribal territory. The Taliban released a video showing him, at gunpoint, to the Arab satellite channel al-Arabiya TV on April 19th, 2008.[1]

The ambassador was released on May 17. Rehman Malik, a security adviser to the Pakistani prime minister, said he was released "purely a result of law enforcement efforts;" no exchanges were involved. [2]

Taliban sources, however, claimed he had been exchanged for Afghan defense minister and deputy Taliban leader Mullah Obaidullah Akhund and others.[3] An Asia Times article said there was a deal -- with Baitullah Mehsud, involving the release of 55 militants were released, and that a payment of 20 million Pakistani Rupees was paid. Others released, according to the article, were Mufti Yousuf and Muslim Dost, with Maulana Abdul Aziz was expected to be released soon. Some of the exchanges were not for Azizuddin himself, but part of his entourage. [4]

References

  1. Pakistani ambassador goes missing, BBC News, February 11, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-19.
  2. Afghanistan: Pakistani Ambassador Released By Kidnappers, Radio Free Europe, Saturday, May 17, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-19.
  3. Kidnapped ambassador freed: Taliban claim Mulla Obaidullah, others swapped for Tariq Azizuddin; govt denies deal, Pak Tribune, Sunday May 18, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-19.
  4. Syed Saleem Shahzad. Pakistani militants savor a sweet deal, Asia Times, May 20, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-05-20.