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Peshawar

AP
Ashrafuddin Pirzada
October 16, 2017

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Families appeal Afghan Taliban to free kidnapped picnickers

Families appeal Afghan Taliban to free kidnapped picnickers

LANDIKOTAL: Scores of children and elderly family members of the 17 kidnapped picnickers on Sunday appealed to the Afghan Taliban to set free their near and dear ones.

Speaking at a press conference here, Mufti Ejaz Shinwari, Qari Mujahid, Maulana Abdul Shakoor, Qari Jihad Shah, Alam Noor and Niaz Muhammad said that one month back the 17 picnickers were abducted at gunpoint from Adil Khad border village.

Dozens of children and elderly family members of the kidnapped persons were also present on the occasion.

They said the kidnapped persons were the lone breadwinners for their respective families.

Their families said the kidnapped persons belonging to Landikotal were not government employees.

The residents of Adil Khad village said that they had several times asked Pakistani officials and a few bureaucrats, who visited their homes, to help release the abductees, but to no avail.

Mufti Ejaz said the children of the abducted persons had quit studies as they couldn’t afford to pay school fees.

He said elders of the families had started begging to feed the children and women who were waiting for the release of their loved ones.

Mufti Ejaz said the children asked their mothers and grandfathers about the return of their fathers.

He added that the fellow villagers were also in a state of fear and anxiety after the kidnapping incident, but the government did nothing to get them freed.

Maulana Abdul Shakoor said that aggrieved families were poor and couldn’t pay ransom to win freedom for their near and dear ones.

He said the government should take up the issue with the Afghan authorities to secure the release of the poor Pakistanis.

They also appealed to the Afghan Taliban to voluntarily release the abducted residents of Landikotal.

The Khugakhel elders said that they had gone to Afghanistan thrice to secure the release of the 17 people, but to no avail.  The elders said they met the local Afghan elders and other influential persons to win freedom for the kidnapped persons, but their efforts didn’t yield results.

The Adil Khad elders and children asked the prime minister to take notice of the incident and use his office to secure the release of their family members.

 

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