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— File photo
— File photo

PESHAWAR: The government has paid a heavy ransom to militants to secure release of seven of eight Wapda employees working for Gomal Zam dam project, according to sources privy to the development.

They told Dawn that Rs25 million had been paid to the ‘commander Latif’ group -- an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) -- which handed over the seven employees to officials of the political administration in a village located on the border of North and South Waziristan agencies on Saturday. But the fate of the eighth kidnapped employee is not known.

Fifty per cent of the ransom was arranged by the Governor’s House and the remaining amount by Wapda, the sources said. But the government has created an impression that the militants had released the workers as a ‘goodwill gesture’.

“This is absolutely untrue that the kidnapped employees were released by the Taliban as a goodwill gesture,” an official source insisted.

Initially, the government was not interested in trying to secure the release of the employees, kidnapped in August last year, which forced their families to approach the Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan The chief justice took up the matter and directed the officials concerned to approach philanthropists and raise the money required for the release of the employees after the political administration and other departments said they were unable to ensure their release.

The bench was informed by court officials that the militants were demanding Rs150m. The officials later claimed that negotiations had been stopped after the death of TPP deputy commander Maulvi Waliur Rehman in a US drone attack.—Bureau Report

Comments (8) Closed

Anees Sep 16, 2013 09:32am

"... and the remaining amount by Wapda,.." All of it will be recovered from us in our Electricity bills during the next few months.

Agha Ata Sep 16, 2013 05:38pm

It is so sad to know that our governemnt is nothing more than a Victim.

Nasser Ali Khan Sep 16, 2013 08:22pm

Was a ransom really paid? And if yes, paid the amount mentioned? In most probability, it is yet a continous case of politicians and government officials looting the nation? We do not have a system of checks and balances, including segregation of duties, for there to be any independent check.

Mubashir Sep 16, 2013 10:43pm

That ought to encourage them to kidnap more innocent people.

fact Sep 17, 2013 01:56am

@Anees: ofcourse, if you are not one of the 90% awaam using 'Kundas'

Ashar Sep 17, 2013 04:44am

So the Supreme Court of Pakistan told the administration to arrange the money from philanthorpists to release the prisoners as the security agencies said they could not guarantee their safety or that they could find or fight the terrorists...!! ..ARE YOU SERIOUS !!!!!!!!!!!! AM I DREAMING!!!! The Supreme Court is negotiating ransom deals now??

Agha Ata Sep 17, 2013 05:49pm

Our government pays heavy ransom to get the release of our men, How much do Taliban pay to get the release of their prisoners?

Ray Sep 18, 2013 03:55am

What else you can expect from this impotent government and useless politicians that promise too much before elections and just simply bow against terrorism once in power. Its a curse on country for being not educated. Thanks to all in country who have power but can only apply on poor people. Excellent. Keep it up!