Seven abducted FDA officials freed after govt takes own captives

Source: Published in Law & Order on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WANA: Seven Fata Development Authority (FDA) workers kidnapped near the Afghan border were freed on Monday, an official said, after government representatives detained local villagers under a colonial-era law of “collective responsibility”.

The officials, abducted in South Waziristan tribal region in March and later taken to Afghanistan, were handed over to the government authorities on Monday, Zafrul Islam, the political agent for South Waziristan, told Reuters.

“They are safe and sound and now I am taking them to South Waziristan's headquarters, Wana,” Islam said. He did not say if a ransom was paid, or which militant faction was responsible.

But he confirmed that most of the 22 tribesmen who had been arrested in a “collective responsibility” punishment by the local government administration had already been freed.

Arrests were made under the Collective Responsibility Clause of Frontier Crime Regulation which empowers the political administration to punish the clan if an offence happens in an area where it wields influence.

The Fata Development Authority (FDA) employees in South Waziritan were abducted in March when they were heading to inspect an under construction dam in the area.

The incident had took place in Toi Khula area of South Waziristan tribal district along the Afghan border.

Islam had said that project director of Chao Tangi small dam, two geologists and other technical staff of the dam were among those kidnapped at gunpoint.