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Pakistan frees 19 non-combatant Taliban

Pakistan frees 19 non-combatant Taliban

Apr 04, 2014 - 11:18

ISLAMABAD (Pajhwok): The government in Islamabad has freed 19 non-combatants as a goodwill gesture to step up the peace process with the outlawed Tehrik-Talibaninfo-icon Pakistaninfo-icon (TTP).

The men freed had been investigated by the political administration and declared innocent, the Ministry of interior said. “The ministry has conveyed details to the prime minister,” one official said.

He added three of them were freed on March 21, five on March 25 and 11 on March 28. They had been detained on suspicion or on the basis of intelligence reports.

“The government and the armed forces have a policy to free those proved to be innocent as a result of investigations,” the ministry spokesman said.

But the Prime Minister’s Secretariat said the “release of some individuals involved in petty crimes by the political administration has been wrongly connoted as release of Taliban prisoners”.

It clarified there had been no authorisation given by the prime minister in this regard, a brief statement from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat said.

Most of the men released had been rounded up during search operations and declared “white” implying that they were innocent. Some of them belong to the Sajna group.

 “There is unanimity that those Taliban detainees against whom there is no evidence or cases should be released,” said Rustam Shah Mohmand, a member of the government committee holding talks with TTP.



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