Pakistan rescues Chinese tourist held hostage by the Taliban
A Chinese tourist held hostage for months by the Taliban has been freed in a government operation, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said. Khan made the announcement in a press conference late Sunday night that was broadcast Monday on multiple TV channels. He said the man will be handed over to mainland- Chinese authorities soon.
“Our intelligence agencies are proud of rescuing the captive,” he said. “Chinese authorities, whenever we meet, would always ask about the captive. Thank God, now, we have him.”
There was no immediate comment from the mainland Chinese representative office in Islamabad on the rescue operation. Khan did not iden- tify the Chinese national and did not provide details on the rescue.
The only Chinese national known to be held by the Taliban is Hong Xudong, who was abducted in May 2014 near the northwestern Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan. Hong had entered the country from India and had been traveling around Pakistan by bicycle.
The kidnapping was claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban. A video released in May 2015 showed a man identified as Hong asking the Chinese government to honor his kidnappers’ unspecified ransom demands.
The Pakistani Taliban is an umbrella group of various local Islamic militant groups bent upon overthrowing the government to install their own harsh brand of Islamic law.