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Thread: Polish Contractor Murdered Because Of Refusal To Release Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Polish Contractor Murdered Because Of Refusal To Release Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh

    Taliban Say They Killed Polish Contractor in Pakistan

    Published: February 7, 2009

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A Polish engineer who was kidnapped by the Taliban last September was killed by his captors Friday night after negotiations with the government for his release collapsed, a Taliban spokesman said on Saturday.

    A spokesman for the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, said initial reports received by the government showed that the engineer, Piotr Stanczak, had been killed but the authorities were awaiting final confirmation. In Poland, the prime minister, Donald Tusk, said he had received reports that Mr. Stanczak had been killed.

    Mr. Stanczak, who was shown in a video on Pakistani television in October pleading for his release, was one of several foreigners captured by the Taliban in recent months, evidence of the increasingly grim security situation in the country.

    He appears to be the first Western captive killed by Islamic militants in Pakistan since the murder of Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal correspondent, in January 2002.

    Mr. Stanczak worked for a Polish firm under contract with a Pakistani state enterprise, the Oil and Gas Development company, and was kidnapped in an ambush on his way to work in Attock, 70 miles northeast of the capital.

    A diplomat from Afghanistan, and another from Iran, who were captured in separate ambushes in the chaotic city of Peshawar in the North-West Frontier Province late last year, are still being held by militants.

    A Chinese telephone technician captured in the Swat Valley last year is also in Taliban hands. An American aid worker, Stephen D. Vance, was shot and killed on his way to work in Peshawar in November.

    Last week, a senior United Nations refugee official in Pakistan, John Solecki, an American, was kidnapped on his way to work in the southwestern city of Quetta. On Saturday, a little-known separatist group called the Baluchistan Liberation United Front claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and issued a set of demands.

    A Polish diplomat in Islamabad, Wieslaw Kucharek, said Saturday that a special Polish envoy from Warsaw met with President Zardari in December to seek help for the engineer’s release. The Pakistani leader gave assurances that Pakistan would do all possible to win the engineer’s release, Mr. Kucharek said.

    A Taliban spokesman, who called himself Muhammad, called several Pakistani television reporters early Saturday morning, saying the Taliban had killed Mr. Stanczak because the government had failed to release militants being held in prison, said Fakhar Kakakhel, the Peshawar bureau chief of the AAJ television network. In October, Mr. Kakakhel had been taken blindfolded by the Taliban to shoot the video of Mr. Stanczak, who sat before two masked men pointing rifles at him, begging for his freedom.

    On Saturday, the spokesman told Mr. Kakakhel that the body of Mr. Stanczak would be released only if the government met the militants’ demands, Mr. Kakakhel said. The demands included releasing Taliban prisoners and ending military operations against the Taliban in the area of Darra Adamkhel, a Taliban-controlled town on the edge of the tribal region in the North-West Frontier Province.

    Because the Taliban were refusing to show the body of Mr. Stanczak, some Pakistani intelligence officials said they believed that the militants’ were bluffing and that the Pole might still be alive.

    Negotiations between the Pakistani government and a branch of the Taliban umbrella group in Pakistan, Tehrik-i-Taliban, which was holding Mr. Stanczak, intensified this week when the Taliban set a series of deadlines that ended Friday, Mr. Kakakhel said.

    Tehrik-i-Taliban is headed by Baitullah Mehsud, whose forces are battling the Pakistani Army in increasingly large swaths of the country.

    Mr. Stanczak had been held for some time in Darra Adamkhel, intelligence officials said. At one point he was moved to Makine in North Waziristan, a stronghold of Mr. Mehsud, the officials said.

    The major sticking point in the negotiations, according to Mr. Kakakhel and intelligence officials involved in the talks, was the refusal of the militants to settle for a ransom offered by the Polish and the Pakistani governments rather than the release of the prisoners.

    The Pakistani government refused to budge on the release of any prisoners, they said.

    Among the militants whose release the Taliban demanded was Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was found guilty of conspiring to kill Mr. Pearl and is appealing his death sentence from a jail in Pakistan.

    The negotiations were continuing Friday night when at 10 p.m. the captors demanded the release of four fairly low-level Taliban fighters belonging to Lashkar-i-Jhangi, a banned militant outfit, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

    At that point, the Interior Ministry informed the Taliban that the government would check in which prison the four fighters were being held and get back to the captors, the intelligence officials said. The Taliban never responded.

    Pakistan’s tribal region has for generations served as a virtually impenetrable hiding place for kidnappers who made their living from ransoms, said Talat Masood, a prominent Pakistani journalist who works for AAJ television.

    “What is surprising is the inability of the government to get people out alive even though they are willing to put any amount of money on the table,” Mr. Masood said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Pak Taliban claims to have killed kidnapped Polish engineer

    Islamabad, Feb 7 (PTI) Taliban militia have executed a Polish engineer, whom they were holding hostage, after Pakistani authorities refused to give in to their demand for release of top jailed militants, a spokesman of the group claimed today.

    Peter Stanczak was killed on the orders of a militant commander named Tariq, the Taliban spokesman told TV channels.

    One of the militants whose release was demanded was Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, swapped by India along with two others for passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar in 1999, pointing to close ties between the Taliban and Pakistani militant groups.

    Sheikh was later convicted of killing American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi.

    The Taliban had earlier said they would kill Stanczak if the government did not meet their demands, including the release of 60 militants.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Angry Poland accuses Pak of fostering terrorism

    10 Feb 2009, 2037 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN

    WASHINGTON: Poland has joined the ranks of countries accusing Pakistan of inaction, if not outright complicity in terrorist activity, following the beheading last week of a Polish national by the Pakistani Taliban.

    In a furious response that has stunned the international diplomatic community, Polish justice minister Andrzej Czuma on Monday blamed Pakistan's "apathy" in tackling terrorism for the killing of a Polish geologist who was kidnapped by the Pakistani Taliban from Attock town in Punjab.

    "The structure of the Pakistani government is behind this apathy. The Pakistani authorities encourage these bandits," Czuma told a Polish news agency, even as the horrific killing recalled the similar beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

    The minister’s outburst stunned his own colleagues in the diplomatic circuit who are a little more circumspect in public about Pakistan’s reputation as a haven of terrorism. "It was unnecessary honesty, it sent shivers down my spine when I heard Minister Czuma speaking," Pawe? Gra?, a member of the Polish parliament's Special Services Committee and Czuma's party colleague told the Polish media.

    However, so great is the outrage in Warsaw over the brutal killing that the Poland's Senate speaker has called off a visit by his Pakistani counterpart this week.

    Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz said Tuesday his decision is not an unfriendly gesture toward Pakistan but was made after taking into consideration "the situation in which our countryman was murdered." Other European countries also expressed revulsion at yet another beheading in Pakistan.

    Meanwhile, according to reports in the Polish media, the State Prosecutor's Office in Cracow, formally investigating the incident, would like to secure the original tapes containing a seven-minute film showing the Pole's execution. For now, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, it has only received a digital copy.

    "We don't want a digital copy because it may have been tinkered with," said Prosecutor Marek We?na at the Organised Crime Bureau, State Prosecutor's Office in Cracow. He said the persons who had taken part in the negotiations would be asked to testify. It is also possible a Polish prosecutor will go to Pakistan to secure potential evidence there.

    The Polish case offers Pakistan yet another opportunity to prove its bona fides in the war on terror amid continuing questions in the international community about its seriousness. Whether it is the Mumbai carnage or the London subway blasts or the beheading of Pearl and now of Piotr Stanczack, Pakistan has not distinguished itself with its dodgy investigations seemingly aimed more at protecting the perpetrators rather than bring them to justice.

    Many of the accused in such incidents, including Omar Saeed Sheikh, Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Yusuf Muzammil, and Zarrar Khan are reported to be ISI assets who live under the intelligence agency’s protection, while Pakistan’s civilian dispensation drums up red herrings while privately pleading it is not fully in control of the agency or that it has been infiltrated by rogue elements.

    With its constant denials, fudging and prevarication, Pakistan’s government has laid itself open that it is complicit in such acts of terrorism. There is immense distrust among the U.S and its allies about Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI and how far it is in cahoots with the jihadis it fostered for long.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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