VC Ajmal Khan swapped for three Taliban, TTP chief claims

Published September 1, 2014
— Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
— Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
— Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
— Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
— Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi
— Photo by Zahir Shah Sherazi

Chief of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Mullah Fazllullah on Sunday claimed that three Taliban prisoners were released in exchange for Vice Chancellor of Islamia College Professor Ajmal Khan.

Fazlullah, delivering a speech to his followers at the alleged reunion of the three released Taliban prisoners, claimed that "our colleagues are back with us without any legal formalities or signatures". He further said that other prisoners would also be released soon.

Pakistani authorities have not responded to the TTP's claims of the prisoner swap so far.

The TTP Chief said the militant group was willing to use any means, resources and force including kidnappings similar to that of Professor Ajmal Khan to get more of their imprisoned members released.

Prof Ajmal Khan was recovered on Aug 28 after remaining in Taliban captivity since September 7, 2010 when he was kidnapped along with his driver at gunpoint from Professor Colony in University of Peshawar. His driver was released two years later.

Speaking in an audio interview in Pashto, the militant chief said that a "few thousand protesters" had proved to be a real test for the Pakistani government as they had taken the Parliament hostage and were not paying heed to the calls of the lower and higher judiciary and not even the army.

The head of the proscribed organisation said that 'the time was ripe to rid the country of western brand of democracy,' adding that their struggle would continue as “we don’t accept anything less than Shariah.”

The Pakistani Taliban chief also warned the media against portraying the Taliban movement to be in decline. He said the militant group would make its presence felt in the days to come.

Chief of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan umbrella militant organisation,Mullah Fazlullah has been on the run from Pakistan's security forces and is believed to be living in Afghanistan and operating primarily from Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

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