Counter-Terrorism: Pakistan Pays A Big Ransom

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June 4,2008: Recently, the Pakistani government released two Taliban leaders (and several hundred followers), in order to get their kidnapped ambassador to Afghanistan (Tariq Azizuddin) released (along with 35 soldiers). Azizuddin was grabbed last February, while being driven through the tribal territories, to Afghanistan. The bandits who took him, sold him to the Taliban. This was a prudent move, as an ambassador was too hot to handle for a bunch of tribal bandits. The Taliban were in a better position to get the most possible in exchange for Azizuddin.

Pakistan has denied that there was a trade, despite obvious connection between the release of captives on both sides. The government goes through this charade because it realizes, even as it makes these trades, that this sort of thing simply encourages the Taliban to kidnap more government officials. The policy of "no ransom" works better in theory than in practice.

 


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