Former ISI officer Khalid Khwaja’s bullet-riddle body was found on the Miramshah-Mirali road in the North Waziristan tribal district on Friday.

A group calling itself Asian Tigers claimed responsibility for the killing in a letter attached to the body.

Khwaja was travelling from Peshawar to Waziristan when he was kidnapped in Kohat a month ago along with another ex-ISI official Ameer Sultan alias Col Imam and a British journalist Asad Qureshi.

Khalid Khwaja, was chairman of the Defence for Human Rights. He served Pakistan Air Force for 18 years and the intelligence unit for two years. He retired as a Squadron Leader.

The self-styled militant organisation, Asian Tigers, which has been holding hostage the two former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers and the British journalist, came up with new demands Wednesday, April 28, 2010, for the release of the kidnapped men.

It had approached former Pakistan Muslim League (N) parliamentarian from Kohat, Javed Ibrahim Paracha, and sought his role in negotiations between the government and their group for the release of the two retired intelligence officers.
The three men had gone to the volatile North Waziristan tribal region on March 26 to work on a documentary about Taliban, published reports said. They went missing and an unknownorganisation, Asian Tigers, believed to be run by a banned militant organisation of the Punjabi Taliban claimed responsibility for their kidnapping.

The purported militant group released video statements of the two former intelligence officers, Ameer Sultan alias Col Imam (retd) and Squadron Leader Khalid Khwaja (retd) and journalist, Asad Qureshi.

In the video, released on April 19, 2010, Col Imam first introduced himself and then claimed that he had come to Waziristan on the advice of former army chief, Gen Mirza Aslam Baig (retd). He said he had served the Army for 18 years and worked inintelligence branch for 11 years.

Khwaja said he had come to Waziristan on the advice of former intelligence chief Lt-Gen Hameed Gul, Gen Aslam Beg (retd) and Col Sajjad of the intelligence unit. It seemed he was reading a written statement handed to him by his kidnappers as at some point he appeared looking down to a piece of paper to read the name of Col Sajjad, reported The News.

The third person in the video was journalist Assad Qureshi.

He said: “My name is Asad Qureshi. I am a British citizen. Please help and set me free. I am being detained by Asian Tigers.” In an email to media, the spokesman for this previously unheard militantorganisation admitted that Khalid Khwaja and Col Imam were in Taliban custody.

“We demand the release of all Taliban leaders and others Mujahideen, including Mulla Biradar, Mansoor Dadullah and Maulvi Kabir. We will send a list of other Mujahideen we want to free within few days,” the spokesman added. He said they had set 10-day deadline forthe government to release ‘Mujahideen’ or else they would kill the officers or take any other decision.