Ex-ISI officials murder aimed at provoking Army to launch N Wazirastan offensive

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Peshawar, May.1 (ANI): The audacious step taken by extremists to kill former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) official Squadron Leader Khalid Khwaja, who was kidnapped from North Waziristan in March, shows that they are prepared to counter any offensive which Pakistani security forces might initiate to crush them.

According to observers, Khwaja's murder was primarily aimed at forcing the government to accept their demands of releasing some of the top Afghan Taliban commanders, including second-in command Mullah Ghani Baradar and Mansoor Dadullah.

"That they have taken this extreme step shows that they are ready for the consequences, which could eventually include a major military operation in North Waziristan," The Daily Times quoted a vocal supporter of the extremists, as saying.

He said that the Asian Tigers, the group which had claimed to have kidnapped Khwaja along with his former colleague Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar, commonly known as Colonel Imam, and British journalist Assad Qureshi, actually wants the Pakistani forces to launch an offensive in North Waziristan also.

"They would like North Waziristan to become embroiled in this battle and the Pakistan Army to be engaged in a wider battlefield. They are mostly outsiders and include the Punjabi Taliban and Mehsud fighters of the TTP evicted from South Waziristan as a result of the Pakistan Army operations there," he said.

It is also believed that the day the Asian Tigers released a video tape showing Khwaja admitting to have been spying for the Central Investigation Agency (CIA), it was evident that he would e eliminated by the terror group. (ANI)

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