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'Jihadi kidnappings' on rise in Pakistan

Kabul , Sun, 01 Jan 2012 ANI

Kabul, Jan 1 (ANI): At least five of over a hundred kidnappings in Pakistan in 2011 have been committed by "jihadi" groups, an increase from just one or two last year, according to a report.


Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies director Amir Rana pointed out that after the military operations in Orakzai and South Waziristan there has been a sudden rise in groups using kidnappings as a way to gather resources for their activities. He also said that this trend has proliferated in Pakistan since 2007.


Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) chief, Ahmed Chinoy, said it is still hard to establish which groups are responsible.


"When we investigate kidnappings we can determine what kinds of gangs are involved because of the nature and location of the calls. The ransom amounts tend to be exaggerated," the Express Tribune quoted Chinoy, as saying


"They also take longer to negotiate with than regular criminal gangs,' he added.


Chinoy said that militant groups do carry out reconnaissance on their targets but they aren't necessarily targeting members of certain communities.


"These are criminal gangs after all, jihadi or not. We treat them as such and they generally target victims, or even banks, because they can exploit a gap in security," Chinoy said


CPLC found that 101 of 106 cases of kidnapping have been solved and 23 gangs have been apprehended. In 2010, there were 112 kidnappings in Karachi and CPLC says all the cases were solved.


Rana assesses that since the Pakistani military has claimed successes in South Waziristan and Orakzai, "This has probably led to resources becoming closed for Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and smaller groups that affiliate themselves with the TTP and al Qaeda might be responsible for raising resources in cities across Pakistan, including Karachi."


According to Rana, the rise in these kidnappings has been quite sudden and that these groups are commonly referred to as the "Punjabi Taliban". (ANI)


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