Missing diplomat in 'Taliban' video

Footage shows Azizuddin urging Pakistan government to accede to Taliban demands.

    Azizuddin in a photo released by the Pakistani embassy in Kabul on February 12 [Reuters]

    Two men who appeared to be the other hostages sat next to Azizuddin, while three armed men stood in the background.
     
    Azizuddin called upon his government and Pakistan's envoys in Iran and China to "to do all they can to protect our lives and to answer all the demands of the mujahidin of Taliban in order to secure our release".
     
    Kidnapped
     
    The broadcast appeared to be his first public statement since vanishing in February.
     
    It was not immediately clear what the Taliban demands to the Pakistan government were.
     
    Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Islamabad, said it was unclear whether the Taliban itself or a splinter group was holding Azizuddin.

    "There have been no clear demands in this video so there are likely to be some demands issued in the future. They will probably include the release of key members [of the group holding Azizuddin] held in Pakistan," he said.
     
    Scores of people have been kidnapped in the dangerous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent years and Azizuddin's disappearance highlighted continuing instability in Pakistan.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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