Tahir Ashrafi recovered after botched kidnapping
11 October, 2012
LAHORE: Law enforcement agencies interrogating three men arrested in connection with the abduction of Ulema Council Pakistan Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi have revealed that the all three belong to Waziristan agency.
Sources within law enforcement forces have confided to our sources that they were arrested by the intelligence agencies during the course of investigation into the kidnapping of moderate religious scholar Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi. The incident had occurred between October 4 and 5. It was determined that the kidnappers belonged to Waziristan agency and had been working on the plan of abduction for many weeks, and for the purpose they had been observing the activities of Ashrafi.
The sources said that the accused admitted during the investigation that on the night of the incident, Ashrafi was moving on a deserted road without any special security which provided them the chance to execute their plan. Ashrafi was recovered from Chakwal Road before Jhelum by the law enforcement agencies in unconscious condition as the kidnappers had intoxicated him, they added.
The sources further said that the kidnappers, who were in wait of an opportune moment, intercepted the car of Ashrafi in the late hours of Thursday night near Faizabad Chowk when he was returning from a function at the German Embassy in Islamabad. The arrested accused said that they introduced themselves to Ashrafi as police officials and asked him to go with them for interrogation over some issue. Two of them then suddenly attacked him and rendered him unconscious by injecting an intoxicating medicine.
However, on their way to their hideout near Jhelum, they observed extraordinary checking by the police and law enforcement agencies on the highway and branch roads, and therefore abandoned the car along with Ashrafi. The kidnapped religious leader was recovered in unconscious condition in his car and was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital where he was given emergency medical treatment.
It was determined that he was given four to five shots of a sedative. Police and the intelligence agency working on the case succeeded in tracing him though his iPad signals. On being contacted, Ashrafi expressed his gratitude to all the law enforcement agencies, interior minister and the chief minister of Punjab for taking immediate action on his kidnapping and recovering him from the kidnappers.
Ashrafi said that on the day of the kidnapping, he was invited to a function at the German Embassy. He said that at about 11pm he was returning to Lahore but at Faizabad crossing two vehicles intercepted his car and two men came up to him and introduced themselves as policemen from the Shalimar Police Station and asked him to come with them for interrogation. Ashrafi maintained he told them that he would follow them in his own car to the police station but they insisted on him shifting to their car.
Ashrafi said when the kidnappers went back to their vehicles for consultation, he telephoned some of his friends in Islamabad about the incident who conveyed the information to Islamabad police AIG Tahir Alam who then alerted the police about the kidnapping attempt. Ashrafi said one of the kidnappers then entered his car and slapped him while another administered him some intoxicating medicine, rendering him unconscious.
He said when he regained his consciousness, he was in a hospital where doctors were giving him medical treatment.