Pakistan

LAHORE (Web Desk) – Afghan Taliban have finally given a statement on Shehbaz Taseer’s recovery, verifying the earlier reports by Daily Pakistan. According to a statement by the Taliban, Shahbaz Taseer was seized by the Afghan Taliban fighters in November 2015, after killing, injuring and capturing his Uzbek captors belonging to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

Daily Pakistan had earlier reported the same story which is now being confirmed by Geo News and the Afghan Taliban.

Also read: EXCLUSIVE: The real story of Shehbaz Taseer revealed for the first time

Afghan Taliban members brought Shahbaz Taseer on a motorbike from Afghanistan and freed him in the Kuchlak town near Quetta on March 8.

According to sources close to Shahbaz’s family and Taliban, son of slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, spent about four months in the custody of the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan’s Zabul province. Shehbaz was kidnapped by an unknown group on 26th August, 2011 and the way for his release was paved when the Afghan Taliban decided to punish the IMU for pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, or Daesh, in July, 2015 as his Uzbek captors faced defeat and those who survived the Taliban onslaught were captured.

Shahbaz Taseer wasn’t freed at the time as the Taliban commanders who had taken him into custody weren’t sure about his identity. They believed he was an Uzbek because he was seized along with a group of Uzbek militants.

Daily Pakistan had already reported that the people who kidnapped Taseer were mostly of Uzbek origin who took him, to extort ransom, to the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan. From there he was transported to an unknown location in Afghanistan where he spent roughly four years under the custody of the Uzbek fighters.

More read: ‘Shahbaz Taseer was recovered before Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging’

Once the Afghan Taliban were convinced that Shahbaz Taseer wasn’t an Uzbek, their commanders including Mulla Matiullah decided to release him.

Confirming Daily Pakistan’s earlier reports, Hamid Mir of Geo News reported that one day Shahbaz Taseer was given About Rs 15000 and sent with a group of Taliban fighters heading towards Pakistan on motorcycles. As they had to drive through deserted and unfrequented routes to avoid roadside security checkpoints manned by Afghan soldiers and cops, the journey took more than a week. It ended in the windy Kuchlak town where Shahbaz Taseer became a free man again.

The owner of Kuchlak hotel, where Taseer finally made the call home, recognized Taseer on TV and was soon telling the media about his interaction with him, debunking earlier claims by authorities that Taseer was recovered in a raid by security agencies in Balochistan.