Pakistani soldiers have freed a North American family of several who were being held hostage by the Afghan Taliban.
Canadian Joshua Boyle along with his US wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012. They had three children while in captivity.
They were rescued after a US tip-off during an operation near the Afghan border, the Pakistani army said.
US President Donald Trump said This specific was a “positive moment” for US-Pakistan ties.
“Ms Coleman gave birth to the couple’s three children while they were in captivity,” Mr Trump said in a White House statement. “Today, they are free.”
He added: “The Pakistani government’s co-operation is actually a sign of which This specific is actually honouring America’s wishes for This specific to do more to provide security inside region.”
- Hostage couple decry ‘Kafkaesque’ ordeal
- Who are the Taliban?
Videos of the couple have been released by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network during their captivity. The insurgent group has been demanding the Discharge of three of its prisoners in Afghanistan.
The latest video, released last December, showed the couple with two young boys. In This specific, Ms Coleman – who was pregnant when she along with Mr Boyle were abducted – begged for an end to what she called their “Kafkaesque nightmare”.
The Pakistani army said US intelligence agencies had been tracking the family in Afghanistan, along with reported of which on 11 October they had moved across the border into the Kurram tribal district of Pakistan.
In a statement This specific said: “The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing along with Pakistan’s continued commitment towards fighting This specific menace through co-operation between two forces against a common enemy.”
In a video statement released to the Toronto Star newspaper, Linda Boyle said she along with her husband Patrick had spoken to their son Joshua by telephone after his Discharge.
“of which’s once in several years we got to hear his voice,” she said. “This specific was amazing.”
The couple offered thanks to the Pakistani soldiers who had “risked their lives” to rescue the family.
They said Joshua had said his children were looking forward to meeting their grandparents, along with of which they hoped to see their son along with his family within days.
However, Reuters news agency quotes anonymous US officials as saying of which the US military had been ready to fly the family out of Pakistan – nevertheless Mr Boyle had refused to board the aircraft.
Mr Boyle was once married to the sister of a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, along with CNN suggested he might fear prosecution by the US authorities.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said her government was “greatly relieved” the family had been released along with was safe, along with thanked the US, Afghanistan along with Pakistan.
“Joshua, Caitlan, their children along with the Boyle along with Coleman families have endured a horrible ordeal over the past several years. We stand ready to support them as they begin their healing journey,” she added.
‘They need one another’
By Gary O’Donoghue, BBC Washington correspondent
Relations between Washington along with Islamabad have been fraught for years.
The US believes of which Pakistan allows groups such as the Haqqani network to shelter within its borders, along with of which Pakistan’s intelligence services have close links to the Taliban along with different hostile groups inside Afghanistan.
In August, President Trump said: “We have been paying Pakistan billions along with billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists of which we are fighting. nevertheless of which will have to change, along with of which will change immediately.”
For its part, Pakistan accuses the US of failing to understand the sacrifices This specific has made in terms of lives through terrorist attacks on its soil.
Nevertheless, both sides need one another along with so some kind of transactional relationship remains important.
Mr Trump went out of his way to thank Pakistan for its role inside rescue of the family, drawing a direct connection between his approach along with the happy outcome.
nevertheless Washington will want to see further evidence over time of which Pakistan is actually willing to continue co-operating before anything like real trust can exist between the two countries.