Agencies rescue kidnapped Chinese tourist

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Monday, 24 August 2015

Intelligence agencies have rescued a Chinese tourist kidnapped last year in an area close to insurgency-prone regions, it was announced on Sunday.

The unidentified man was abducted in May last year from Daraban in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the border with Baluchistan province and the South Waziristan tribal district, both of which are rife with insurgents.

“The Chinese tourist was recovered on Saturday night after a successful operation and is to be handed over to the Chinese embassy in Islamabad anytime soon,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told a press conference in Islamabad, without giving details.

Officials said the man was apparently travelling through the area by bicycle when he was seized last year.

A faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had said it was behind the abduction.

But Khan did not disclose from where and under what circumstances the tourist was rescued.

However, a video released by militants in May this year had purported to show a Chinese tourist kidnapped by Taliban-allied fighters a year ago asking for his government to help him be released.

A militant known to belong to a Taliban splinter group called Jaish al-Hadeed had released the video. While it could not be independently verified, the man in the video resembled other known photographs of Hong Xudong, kidnapped in May 2014.

In the video, the man identified as Hong asks for the Chinese government to fulfil his kidnappers’ ransom demands.

Hong went missing after entering Pakistan from India in April 2014. He was abducted on May 19 in the town of Daraban on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan.

Police only found his passport, bicycle and belongings. Following Mr Hong’s abduction, the leader of a Taliban splinter group called Shehryar Mehsud, Abdullah Bahar, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. Bahar later was killed by a suspected US drone strike.

It’s unclear what relationship Shehryar Mehsud has with Jaish al-Hadeed, though Taliban splinter groups frequently cooperate with each other.

China is one of Pakistan's main allies, investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including nuclear power plants, dams and roads.

China in April announced it would invest $46 billion in infrastructure, energy and transport projects as part of an ambitious project dubbed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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