KARAM KOT, Pakistan — A former Pakistani intelligence officer sympathetic to Al Qaeda and the Taliban was found shot dead yesterday in a northwestern tribal region several weeks after he was abducted by a previously unknown militant group, officials and witnesses said.
Khalid Khawaja disappeared in late March with a former intelligence official named Sultan Amir Tarar and a filmmaker. There was no word yesterday on the fate of the two others. Tarar also had deep militant links, having helped establish the Taliban movement in Afghanistan in the 1990s, when Pakistani security agencies were supporting the group.
Khawaja’s killing illustrates the complexity of the situation in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, which host a deadly mix of militant groups from all over Pakistan and the world that are under intense pressure from US missiles strikes and Pakistan army offensives.
Khawaja’s body was found with gunshot wounds to the head and chest in the Karam Kot area of North Waziristan, which is under effective militant control.
Several hours after the body was dumped, it remained lying on the road, according to an Associated Press reporter.
A printed note attached to the body accused Khawaja of spying for the CIA and Pakistan’s main spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI. It also accused him of being involved in an attack in 2007 on militants holed up in a mosque in Islamabad by Pakistani security forces.
The three men were first reported abducted in late March. Soon after, a previously unknown militant group calling itself the Asian Tigers claimed to be holding the men in a video delivered to local media.