KHYBER: An engineer and his assistant reached home on Monday after they were handed over to a group of tribal elders by their abductors late on Sunday evening in Tirah valley.
Though there was no official word about the circumstances in which the recovery or release of Eng Aamir Suhail and his foreman Azmatullah was made possible, sources in Tirah said that the abductors agreed to release them ‘unconditionally’ after keeping them in their captivity for one month.
They said that the two released officials were first taken to the local security camp on Sunday evening and were later allowed to go home. No further details were available about any deal regarding their release as the abductors had earlier demanded a huge amount for their release.
Eng Aamir Suhail and Azmatullah were abducted from their living quarters in Peer Mela locality of Tirah valley on August 24 by a group of armed men, who had identified themselves as local activists of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
TTP, however, never claimed responsibility for their abduction while the abductors had demanded huge ransom through a jirga of local elders, who had been negotiating the release since their abduction.
Working for a private firm MIES Consultants, the two abducted men were on an assignment to build the first-ever sports complex in Peer Mela area of Tirah valley.
Family sources of both the abducted men confirmed their safe return to their homes but they were not willing to share any details about the release.
Meanwhile, law enforcement personnel temporarily stopped construction of a checkpost in Mandi Kas area of Sipah in Bara after locals staged a protest demonstration and blocked Bara-Tirah road for several hours.
The protesters said that they would not allow anyone to forcibly occupy their private property for construction of the checkpost. They said that the site selected for the checkpost was situated in the midst of their houses that would not be allowed as per local customs and traditions.
The tribesmen ended their protest only after the construction of the checkpost was stopped.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2023