Senior journalist kidnapped in North Waziristan
PESHAWAR: A group of armed men with covered faces kidnapped senior tribal journalist Rahmatullah Darpakhel from Miranshah, North Waziristan, on Tuesday, tribal sources said.
He was associated with an Urdu daily Ausaf. The sources said Rahmatullah was shopping in the bazaar when a group of armed men bundled him into a car and drove away. The sources said he left the Miranshah Press Club and went to the nearby vegetable market before going home on the Miranshah-Dattakhel Road when he was kidnapped.
Rahmatullah was careful while writing about issues and incidents taking place in the volatile North Waziristan. He had reportedly refused to work with the foreign media due to the dangers associated with journalistic assignments in the militancy-hit tribal region.
“He is widely respected and had never received threat from any militant group,” Malik Mumtaz Khan, a senior journalist and close friend of Rahmatullah told The News. The incident, he said, has caused concern among fellow journalists in North Waziristan.
The tribal sources said a mysterious group, Khurasan, which is considered as an intelligence wing of the Taliban, was said to be behind such kidnappings and murder of the tribesmen in North Waziristan.
Local Taliban led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur denied involvement in Rahmatullah’s kidnapping and denounced the incident. Their spokesman Ahmadullah Ahmadi said they had launched efforts for safe recovery of the journalist.