Efforts accelerated to recover abducted troops


Amidst Taliban’s willingness for dialogue with the government, the administration has accelerated efforts for early recovery of 22 personnel of security forces who were abducted from Peshawar on midnight between Wednesday and Thursday.
At least two personnel were killed in the attack at Hassan Khel and 22 were abducted. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain talking to Pakistan Today welcomed the Taliban decision and said per the Awami National Party (ANP) stance, “we are ready to play a role in such dialogues”. He said the TTP existed in Tribal Areas, therefore, responsibility rested with the federal government to make preparations in this respect. He also said the government needed to take on board leaders from all political forces before entering into the dialogue.
Referring to efforts for recovery of the abducted personnel, Hussain confirmed holding of a meeting between local elders and the administration. He said traditional jirga of elders met with assistant political agent at Peshawar on Friday during which the elders had been directed for recovery of the abducted personnel within three days. The administration urged the tribal elders to fulfill their territorial responsibilities otherwise action might be pursued by authorities. Government administrator Naveed Akbar Khan said Friday that authorities had planned meetings with the local tribal elders.
Tribal law stipulates that the elders could be punished for attacks that occurred in their areas. Security forces have also launched an operation to try to recover the kidnapped personnel. According to officials, dozens of armed militants had attacked two check posts of security forces at Peshawar. The militants had attacked with grenades and rockets. The Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack, however, they had yet to disclose their demands. Hussain responding to a question said, “Assembling or sheltering of militants in Peshawar has become a serious threat to security. He said the provincial government through Peshawar commissioner was in contact with the tribal administration. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakeemullah Mehsud on Friday said he was ready to enter into conditional dialogue with the government. He said, “Without laying arms, we are ready for dialogue with government. Taliban militants are demanding replacement of existing laws by Islamic norms.”