Kidnapped Pakistani diplomat freed

Tariq Azizzudin was seized by Taliban three months ago after departing from Peshawar.

    Pakistani television channels also reported that Azizuddin was expected to return to his family in Islamabad shortly.
    In the February video, Azizuddin did not say what demands the Taliban were making, but Pakistani media reports had reported they had called for the release of several jailed fighters.

    But a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban later denied that members of the group were responsible for abducting the envoy.

    The day of his capture coincided with Pakistani security forces seizing a senior Taliban commander, Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, in southwestern Baluchistan province, also bordering Afghanistan.
    Peace talks
    Azizudin's recovery comes amid recent headway in peace talks between the Pakistani Taliban and the six-month-old coalition government in Pakistan led by Yousuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister.
    As part of the ongoing peace process, Pakistani authorities last month released some 30 tribesmen held in various prisons in return for the release of 55 soldiers detained by Pakistani Taliban fighters, according to an official.
    It was not immediately known whether a swap led to the release  of the envoy.

    Pakistan's long tribal belt on the Afghan border has turned into a major sanctuary for al-Qaeda and the Taliban fighters who fled from Afghanistan after a US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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