Tariq Azizuddin

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Tariq Azizuddin is a retired Pakistani ambassador to Turkey; he was previously Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan. He was kidnapped by the Taliban on 11 February 2008 when he went through the Khyber agency, prior to reaching the border crossing at Towr Kham, without taking a security escort that was waiting for him at the start of the tribal territory. The Taliban released a video showing him, at gunpoint, to the Arab satellite channel al-Arabiya TV on 19 April 2008.[1]

The ambassador was released on 17 May. Rehman Malik, a security adviser to the Pakistani prime minister, said his release was "purely a result of law enforcement efforts" and no exchanges were involved.[2] Taliban sources, however, claimed he had been exchanged.[3] An Asia Times article said there was a deal involving the release of 55 militants, and that a payment of 20 million Pakistani rupees was paid. Some of the exchanges were not for Azizuddin himself, but part of his entourage.[4]