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Bannu Jail absconder shown with Taliban in a video footage

April 19, 2012

KARACHI: DawnNews, on Thursday, telecast an exclusive footage of a high-profile prisoner, who escaped from Bannu Central Prison last week, talking with the Taliban.

Adnan Rashid, who was convicted in an attack on former president Pervez Musharraf, was shown as being welcomed by the Taliban in an area which appears to be somewhere in Pakistan’s north-west tribal belt.

He has been shown talking in Pashtu with his hosts in these words:

Qari sahib, how are you? How is your health? Are you feeling well.”

A jubilant Rashid looking all around from his car’s window replied; “Alhamdullah (All praise to Allah) all is well.”

Have you won your freedom from the prison, another militant poses a query to which Adnan nodding his head again says “Alhamdullah (All praise to Allah).”

Another Taliban fighter asked Rashid, how much time did you spend in jail? Adnan Rashid replied “Eight years and four months.”

“I was convicted to death,” he added.

Rashid also replied in affirmative when the questioner inquired, if he had been convicted in Musharraf’s suicide attack case.

Nearly 400 prisoners including militants escaped on Aril 15 from Bannu Jail after an attack by insurgents armed with guns, grenades and rockets.

More than 150 heavily-armed militants stormed the central prison outside the restive northwestern town of Bannu bordering the lawless tribal regions where Taliban and al Qaeda linked militants are known to operate.

Rashid was enjoying the facility of cellular phone inside the death cells of different jails where he was lodged after being sentenced to death by a field general court martial for his alleged attempt on the life of former president Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf.

The former junior technician of Pakistan Air Force, Rashid is a resident of Chota Lahor area of Swabi district. He is fluent in English, Pashto and Urdu. He used to contribute to several social networking sites including Blogs and Facebook from the prison. He had joined PAF in 1997. He was around 24 when he was arrested in early 2004.

The escaped prisoner was in contact with the world outside the prison through his cellular phone, according to sources. He was also in touch with several journalists and used to send them messages through short message service (SMS).

Prior to his escape, Rashid continued to plead his innocence and claimed that his only crime was that he had voted “No” in the referendum held by the then military president Gen Musharraf.