Taliban commander Waliur Rehman said his group ordered the kidnapping in order to gain freedom for Aafia Siddiqui. — File photo

SHAWAL: The Pakistani Taliban's No. 2 commander said his group has custody of two kidnapped Swiss tourists, and that it will free them if the US releases imprisoned female Pakistani scientist Aafia Siddiqui.

The Swiss pair was abducted in the southwest Balochistan province earlier this month.

Taliban commander Waliur Rehman spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday in South Waziristan, a northwest tribal region.

He said his group ordered the kidnapping in order to gain freedom for Aafia Siddiqui, a US-educated mother of three who is serving 86 years in an American jail for trying to kill US officials in Afghanistan.

Rehman said the Swiss have not been tortured.

But he said that if Siddiqui is not freed, a Taliban court will decide the fate of the pair.

Opinion

Elite politics

Elite politics

For most part, Pakistan’s fractious politics has seen fierce govt-opposition conflict and mutual efforts to upend each other.

Editorial

Extension legacy
Updated 05 Dec, 2022

Extension legacy

The practice of having individuals carry on well beyond their time is up.
Dodging accountability
05 Dec, 2022

Dodging accountability

A WARNING carried in these pages in August appears to have gone completely unheeded. Months ago, as the government...
Double standards
05 Dec, 2022

Double standards

IN a globalised world, if states fail to protect the human rights of their citizens, or worse, participate in ...
Retracted offer
04 Dec, 2022

Retracted offer

WITH so many U-turns under his belt, it was hardly surprising when on Saturday, PTI chairman Imran Khan decided to...
Embassy attack
Updated 04 Dec, 2022

Embassy attack

The Taliban should have enhanced the existing security arrangements.
Smog season
04 Dec, 2022

Smog season

FOR the past week, major cities of Pakistan have been among the top most polluted cities in the world. Lahore ranked...