Missing ex-ISI officers found in North Waziristan?

It appears the mystery behind the missing former officers from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency who have close ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda has been solved. Colonel Imam, the father of the Taliban, and Khalid Khawaja, the Taliban’s “consigliere,” appear to have surfaced in North Waziristan and are in the care of South Waziristan Taliban supremo Waliur Rehman Mehsud. From The News:

The Taliban commander, who called The News from an undisclosed location, said Col Imam and his colleagues had spent a night with them in Mir Ali and interviewed Waliur Rehman. The next day, the commander said, the team left for the nearby South Waziristan under Taliban escort where they were still busy in their work. He dispelled rumours that Col Imam and his colleagues could have been kidnapped and were still missing.

“They trusted us and our people took them to our strongholds in South Waziristan where they are staying with us as guests,” the Taliban commander explained. He said their visit to Waziristan was planned and Taliban commanders were waiting for their arrival in Mir Ali. He said they knew Col Imam and his men were making a documentary for a foreign news channel and they happily consented to help them in their job as the Pakistani media had stopped covering their activities…

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s former MNA from Kohat, Javed Ibrahim Paracha, when reached by telephone, also confirmed that they had spent a night in Mir Ali.

“We know they spent a night in Mir Ali but we are trying to locate that house where they stayed,” Paracha told this scribe from his Kohat residence. He said he was in touch with Taliban as well as with government functionaries in North and South Waziristan.

Col Imam, Khalid Khwaja and the two journalists spent a night with Paracha in Kohat and then left for Waziristan on March 26. There were also reports that Khalid Khwaja and a few other people recently negotiated between the government and Mehsud Taliban led by Hakeemullah Mehsud.

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

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