Taliban kidnap senior Swat official

The Swat Taliban claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a new appointed senior official for the district as he was traveling in the region.

Taliban fighters captured Swat’s new District Coordination Officer, Khushhal Khan, and six of his bodyguards as they were traveling from the town of Saidu Sharif to Mingora, Geo News reported. The six bodyguards are members of the Swat Levies, a paramilitary force within the Frontier Corps.

Muslim Khan, the senior Taliban spokesman and aide to Swat leader Mullah Fazlullah, took credit for the kidnapping of the official to “discuss some issues with him.”

“He is our guest,” Khan told the media. “We have to discuss some issues with him. We will serve him with tea and then free him.”

The kidnapping of the official highlights the degree of Taliban control in the district and how public officials will be coerced. Political officials, judges and policemen have watched as the government abdicated to the Taliban after the military was defeated three time in Swat over the past year. The abduction of Khan is a clear sign of who controls the region, and officials will be cognizant of the Taliban’s reach when making decisions.

The government agreed to impose sharia, or Islamic law, and end military operations in the Malakand division, the administrative region that is made up of Malakand, Swat, Shangla, Buner, Dir, and Chitral. The agreement was reached with Sufi Mohammed, the father in law of Fazlullah and a radical Islamist who sent more than 10,000 Taliban fighters to attack US forces in Afghanistan. Sufi claimed that he would control the sharia courts.

The Taliban agreed to a 10-day ceasefire, which expires on Feb. 25. There have been conflicting reports about the extension of the ceasefire. Some reports claimed Fazlullah agreed to extend the ceasefire “indefinitely” while other reports said Fazlullah will make a decision on Feb. 25.

On Feb. 20, Fazlullah issued a list of demands to be met in exchange for a permanent ceasefire. He insisted the Pakistani Army withdraw from Swat and the Frontier Corps remain in barracks, and that the government release all Taliban prisoners, withdraw all criminal cases and grant amnesty, and pay reparations to the Taliban.

For more information on the Malakand Accord, see:

Swat Taliban demands military withdrawal, prisoner release

Feb. 20, 2009

Analysis: Pakistan peace agreement cedes ground to the Taliban

Feb. 18, 2009

Sufi Mohammed ‘hates democracy’ and calls for global Islamic rule

Feb. 18, 2009

Pakistan to end military operation and implement sharia in Malakand Division

Feb. 15, 2009

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.



  • don juice says:

    wow i never heard of kidnapping to make conversation thats savage tactics and this is why pakistan needs to wake up and smell the tea

  • NEO says:

    Mullah Fazlullah sure got a sweet deal. It seems the Pakistani governments has agreed to a “permanent ceasefire”

  • Bill Roggio says:

    This really is SOP for these peace deals. Every agreement worked just like you described. In the fall of 2006 I documented how the Taliban in North Waziristan immediately violated the peace agreement. Bfore the ink dried the Taliban began their assassination campaign, stepped up tax collection, opened new recruiting offices, etc.
    The more things change the more things stay the same.

  • KnightHawk says:

    I’m just shocked! 😉
    “We have to discuss some issues with him. We will serve him with tea and then free him.”

    You sure the translation shouldn’t read “We’re going to make him an offer he can’t refuse. ”

  • Render says:

    I know that “Khan” is the regional version of “Smith” but I have to ask…
    Muslim Khan – Khushhal Khan = Any relation?

  • Rhyno327 says:

    This will end up like the other deals made. Some people you just cannot negotiate with. This guy may wind up headless, his body dumped by the road. As for US forces, keep the pressure on.


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