Landi Kotal: Passengers of hijacked bus released
LANDI KOTAL: Thirty-eight passengers of a Jalalabad-bound bus hijacked from the Peshawar-Torkhum highway on Wednesday were freed after the Khyber Agency administration intervened and negotiated their release.
The tribesmen had detained the passengers and demanded release of seven tribesmen arrested by the Afghan authorities a month and half ago on alleged charges of spying. They claimed that the arrested men had been hired by the Fauji Goods Transport Company, a private transporting firm, for protecting the supplies for the allied forces in Afghanistan.
They said that Afghan officials were unhappy with the transport company because it had hired local tribesmen, but the company claimed that incidents of theft had declined following the recruitment of the locals.
The local authorities and a jirga of tribal elders assured the bus hijackers that the matter of their colleagues’ release would be taken up with Afghan authorities.
The bus was later driven to Torkhum under official escort from where it proceeded on its way to Jalalabad. An official told Dawn that the administration received a report about the arrest of some Sultankhel tribesmen on March 15.
He said the administration had ordered the goods transport company to secure the tribesmen’s release, because it was responsible for the safety of its employees.
Sultankhel elders said they had taken the ‘extreme step’ after the local administration failed to secure the tribesmen’s release.
It may be mentioned that the authorities have taken no action against the Sultankhel tribe under the ‘Collective Territorial Responsibility’ clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulation. Road blocks, kidnappings and hijackings are considered serious offences under the FCR.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.