British official: UK journalist held captive in NW Pakistan by militants has been released

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Militants release British journalist in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — A British journalist held captive by Islamist militants in northwestern Pakistan since March has been released, the British High Commission in Pakistan said Thursday.

Asad Qureshi, who also has Pakistani citizenship, was making a film on militancy for Britain’s Channel 4 TV station when he was seized in the tribal regions close to the border with Afghanistan. Large parts of the area are under control of extremists who are hostile to outsiders.

The high commission gave no details except to say Qureshi had been released and was being assisted by consular officials.

Qureshi was traveling with two former Pakistani intelligence officials, one of whom, Khalid Khawaja, was executed in April. The fate of the other captive, Sultan Amir Tarar, was not immediately clear. Both men were known to be sympathetic to Islamist militant causes.

The Associated Press and many other news organizations did not report Qureshi’s abduction at the request of Channel 4. The channel said it feared media coverage of the abduction could complicate efforts to get him released.

The militants released at least two videos of Qureshi during his abduction. They claimed to be from a little-known group called the Asian Tigers.

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