London, Mar. 25 (ANI): Pakistan is using ex-terror suspect Hyarbyar Marri as a mediator between the terror outfit which kidnapped UN official John Solecki and the government to get the American citizen released.
Marri, recently acquitted of terrorism charges in the UK, was approached by Pakistan's Interior Ministry to use his influence with the kidnappers, Dawn reports.
Sources claimed that it was Marri who successfully persuaded the Balochistan Liberation United Front to extend the deadlines.
The kidnappers had given the government a list of 1,109 people, including 141 women, it wanted released in return for releasing Solecki. The Pakistan Government reportedly is in the process of searching for the people on the list.
On General (r) Parvez Musharraf's request, son of influential Baloch Sardar Khair Bux Marri, Hyarbyar Marri was arrested in the UK on the suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan.
However, the jury could not reach a verdict, and earlier this month the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue a further trial.
Later, the PPP-led government in Islamabad immediately took up the case of Marri, with Interior Adviser Rehman Mallik visiting the UK several times to arrange withdrawal of the government of Pakistan's earlier charges of terrorism against him.
Marri's father is also believed to have volunteered to help in getting Solecki released.
Meanwhile, the UN had also approached both father and son in an attempt to open up a dialogue with the Balochistan Liberation United Front (BLUF).
"We have also approached the Marri family because of their standing in the Baloch community. We asked them for any assistance they could provide in securing Solecki's release. We have talked to Hyarbyar Marri, and they've all been helpful," said Jennifer Pagonis, spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Islamabad. (ANI)