Ex-ISI official linked to Afghan Taliban killed

Islamabad/Peshawar: A former ISI official with close links to the Afghan Taliban has reportedly been killed nearly ten months after he was kidnapped by militants in Pakistan`s restive northwestern tribal belt.

Sultan Amir Tarar, better known as Colonel Imam, was reportedly killed somewhere in the country`s northwest, sources told PTI. Geo News quoted unnamed relatives of the former ISI official as saying that they too had been informed of his killing. There was no official word on the development.

Colonel Imam was kidnapped along with former ISI official Khalid Khwaja, British journalist Asad Qureshi and his driver in the tribal belt on March 26 last year.

They were travelling to Waziristan, where Qureshi intended to work on a documentary film on the Taliban.

Khwaja was shot dead on April 30 last year by the kidnappers, who accused him of working for the Pakistani security establishment and the US.

The Asian Tigers, a hitherto unheard of group, had claimed responsibility for kidnapping the four men.

Qureshi and his driver were released in September last year apparently after the journalist`s family paid a hefty ransom. The kidnappers had released several videos in which Colonel Imam called on authorities to take steps for his release.

At one time, Colonel Imam had close links with Aghan Taliban chief Mullah Omar and several Afghan militant commanders and tribal elders were reportedly involved in negotiations for his release.