Monday, January 24, 2011

Colonel Imam, AKA Sultan Amir Tarar
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- A senior government official says a former Pakistani spy who helped the Taliban rise to power in Afghanistan has died of a heart attack nearly a year after being kidnapped by militants.

Tariq Hayat, the top official in Pakistan's northwest tribal region where Sultan Amir Tarar was kidnapped last March, said Monday that authorities haven't seen the body but have received confirmation of his death.

Hayat says militants are asking for more than $200,000 to return Tarar's body.

Tarar - known as Col. Imam - worked for Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency and cultivated close ties with the Taliban.

His kidnapping reflects the complexity of Pakistan's tribal areas, where militants with alleged government ties and those fighting the state often coexist.


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