Taliban kidnap JUI, PPP activists in Pak tribal region | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban kidnap JUI, PPP activists in Pak tribal region

world Updated: Apr 08, 2009 17:18 IST

More than a dozen members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party and some activists of the ruling PPP have been taken hostage by the Taliban in Pakistan’s restive tribal region for supporting a programme providing financial aid to women.

The people taken hostage yesterday in Bajaur tribal agency are being held in private jails run by the Taliban in the militancy-plagued region bordering Afghanistan, ‘The News´ daily reported on Wednesday.A senior Taliban commander from Bajaur told the paper on phone that the militants had “arrested” over a dozen clerics belonging to the JUI, including a nephew of a former parliamentarian, and some PPP workers for backing the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

The Taliban commander said the JUI and PPP activists continued supporting the programme and distributed cheques among women despite “repeated warnings”.The Taliban ‘Shura´ or council in Bajaur issued “arrest warrants” for the political activists after they defied the militants’ orders and “violated tribal customs and traditions by inviting women to government offices for distributing the financial assistance,” he said.

The commander said the Taliban had also warned two PPP parliamentarians Engineer Shaukat Khan and Akhunzada Chattan not to initiate the programme and its projects in their areas but the lawmakers had not heeded the warnings.